The Dutch government has agreed with the energy sector that the near future will already see that energy generated from sustainable sources will be a substantial share of the energy mix. The future Dutch energy system will largely be based on both solar energy as wind energy. TNO supports both the government and the energy sector with advice, research and development in order to contribute to the targets set in the Dutch Climate Agreement.

The Dutch Climate Act is a consequence of the Paris Climate Agreement in which 55 countries, together responsible for 55% of total greenhouse gas emissions, made commitments in 2015 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus limit global warming. It is further strengthened by the European Green Deal. To achieve this, the use of fossil fuels must be phased out and replaced by renewable fuels, like wind energy.


Until 2020, five wind farms have been realised in the Dutch part of the North Sea: off the coast of Egmond aan Zee, off the coast of IJmuiden and north of the Wadden islands (Ameland and Schiermonnikoog). Since the new tender system was introduced, Borssele 1&2 are realised as well as Borssele 3&4, which is in total around 1500MW installed wind power. The annual installation is around 750MW until 2023, and 1000MW of offshore wind will be added annually from 2023 to 2030. The aim is for the wind farms together to produce 11,000 MegaWatt of electricity by 2030, which is equivalent to the annual use of more than 11 million households.

TNO has a great deal of knowledge and expertise about the (further) development of wind energy and individual wind turbines and a great deal of knowledge to predict how much force the wind exerts on the blades of the turbine and to what extent that force deforms the blades. If that force becomes too great, the blades start to vibrate and eventually fail. Continuous research is being carried out to use better materials and techniques to build larger and more powerful wind turbines to generate wind energy at ever lower costs.


TNO performs extensive measurements on, in and near the world's largest wind turbine when it was installed, the Haliade-X 12MW offshore wind turbine. For TNO a familiar scientific domain in itself, but the unprecedented height (260 meters), blade length (107 meters) and therefore diameter of 220 meters push the boundaries of knowledge on aerodynamics. The design and calculations of large turbines needs to be accurate and validated by the measurements in practice. The outcomes are essential for GE Renewable Energy, as well as other turbine manufacturers and manufacturers of the blades and other components.


It is not only the design of the individual wind turbine that determines the yield of wind energy. The location at sea and the position of the wind turbines in relation to each other are also important factors. TNO developed and patented special wind farm controls, so that the wind turbines are coordinated collectively to minimise wake losses that occur due to the wind speed being lower directly behind the turbine. TNO is carrying out pilots to achieve optimum yield from an integrated design of medium-sized and large offshore wind farms.

Innovative technology is also used in the installation, transport, management and maintenance of wind farms. TNO has developed models that make it possible to calculate exactly which maintenance of which turbine is the most cost-efficient and when.


Heavy infrastructure makes it possible to transport generated energy directly by sea from one country to another, enabling energy companies to supply electricity where yield is greatest while, at the same time, avoiding congestion: surpluses in one country can easily be transported to another. TNO is conducting research into technologies for connecting the energy generated at sea to the onshore networks and is developing the SWITCH field lab.

Collaborating with TNO on wind enenergy

Contact Peter Eecen


Dr Peter Eecen

  • Wind Energy