Prepare Rotterdam port for explosive growth in wind power

Prepare Rotterdam port for explosive growth in wind power

30 Oct 2017 | ENGMOVING, News

ROTTERDAM. Port of Rotterdam interview with Michiel Jak, directeur SmartPort

Energy transition
Wind at sea is hot, hip and happening. Developments are accelerating rapidly; developments I’m following with great interest. A kilowatt from wind turbines at sea costs almost the same as a kilowatt from conventional land-based power plants. Prices are converging, independent of geopolitical whims. Wind at sea under Minister Kamp has expanded and is now at quite a scale. The expectation is that this growth will continue. In short: offshore wind power is really taking off. This is great for the desired energy transition, but it’s also great for the economy and for employment opportunities in construction, maintenance and inspection.

70 GW from wind farms

It is expected that there will be some 15,000 wind turbines in the Dutch section of the North Sea by 2050 (this means that until 2050 at least one wind turbine at sea will be built per day). Together, these will supply a capacity of up to 70 GW. This is ten times as much as the total current capacity of all gas and coal-fired plants in the Rotterdam port area. It is important that we are ready for this enormous level of wind power and that we ensure that this wind power largely arrives in Rotterdam instead of predominantly in IJmuiden and/or Eemshaven, two other convenient locations for landing. We therefore need to have the mindset that wind power must come to Rotterdam, and that the Port of Rotterdam is the place to be, a place in which we can do the smartest things with this wind power.

Bid Book
My suggestion: produce a Bid Book in time to demonstrate what the port cluster has to offer. A start for the Bid Book could be: ‘The large petrochemical and chemical cluster in the Port of Rotterdam really knows how to handle wind power. After all, with wind power as “raw material”, this cluster can produce basic chemicals, including hydrogen, methanol, ammonia and formic acid, for the whole of Western Europe. This means that the Port of Rotterdam is an expert in the sustainable production of both raw materials and fuels, and can also operate as a tremendous buffer for variable wind power production. This will enable wind power to be used both as raw material for the petrochemical and chemical industries and as replacement for some of the conventional power plants, resulting in significant reductions in CO2 emissions.’ Who would like to be co-author of this Bid Book? I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Check the column at Port of Rotterdam here or visit our Wind at Sea visual