Offshore industry and offshore wind are growing sectors. The development and testing of innovations in these branches requires lots of space but suitable sites are scarce. The construction of Maasvlakte 2 offers wide-ranging economic opportunities for port and energy-related activities. Reason enough then for Maritime Delta, Port of Rotterdam Authority, TKI Wind op Zee, InnovationQuarter and the Municipality of Rotterdam to investigate the possibilities for offshore-related company relocation, testing and demonstration sites. At the beginning of September, the organisations held talks with companies from the sectors involved during a meeting at FutureLand.
Offshore Center Rotterdam
The Offshore Center Rotterdam initiative is an excellent example of this. Joost Eenhuizen of the Port of Rotterdam Authority explained the wide-ranging opportunities of this site, which covers more than 70 hectares. The Offshore Center Rotterdam will offer space to a broad array of companies that concentrate on offshore, energy, logistics and heavy lifting activities. The site is able to provide these companies with the space required to develop and test large-scale innovations. Clustering of companies in this location will ensure a major merging of strengths in terms of knowledge and innovative capability.
A specific innovation area forms the offshore wind sector
Bob Meijer of TKI Wind op Zee expects that by about 2030, around 50% of the Dutch energy market will source power from offshore wind farms. To make sure this happens, an extension of existing capacity is essential. However, this will not be possible without an expansion of the existing R&D facilities. Energy provider Tennet is also looking ahead towards this development. Their ambition is to put their efforts into the creation of a good offshore wind energy infrastructure. They want to achieve this by building a European power system on the North Sea. Based on the Hub and Spoke principle, such a system will not only have to make European targets in relation to CO2 reduction feasible, it must also make them affordable.
Opportunities at Maasvlakte 2
Participants in the session indicated where they saw opportunities for the implementation of testing and demonstration sites on large area maps and outlined how their organisation would be willing and able to contribute to them. This produced several inspiring ideas around the strengthening of cooperation in the chain and increasing flexibility towards the market. Potential connections with existing initiatives were also included in the thought process. The realisation of testing and demo sites for the offshore industry was not the only issue that was addressed. Opportunities for creating a link with onshore activities were also identified.
Exploring follow-up steps
By including companies in the relevant sectors in the thought process regarding the development of collaboration and area development, a clear picture of where the needs lie will arise and there will be an optimum response to the market. InnovationQuarter. In the time ahead, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Municipality of Rotterdam will explore the follow-up steps and developments regarding the realisation of the offshore wind test and demo site at Maasvlakte 2.
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