The Dutch cabinet as part of its North Sea Programme has decided to designate three new offshore wind areas north and northwest of the country, and confirmed two zones already announced earlier, which jointly will have a capacity of 10.7GW.

Together with already operational areas, or zones from a current tendering programme, the new offshore wind areas will roughly double the country’s offshore wind capacity to 21GW by 2030.

“This is an important milestone in the transition to more sustainable energy. By comparison, an additional 10.7GW is twice the power consumption of all Dutch households,” climate and energy minister Rob Jetten said.

“By 2030, we want to win 21GW from offshore wind energy, making offshore wind power our largest source of electricity by 2030.”

The Netherlands already late last year had started to upgrade its marine spatial planning for a potential doubling on the country’s wind target in order to reach a more ambitious CO2 emission reduction of 55% by the end of the decade, as required by new EU goals.

The doubling of Dutch ambitions comes as other European countries are also raising their offshore wind targets, both due to climate protection and to wean their energy systems off Russian imports.

Germany is currently in the process of boosting its offshore wind target to 30GW by 2030, and 70GW by 2045. Belgium’s energy minister Tinne van der Straeten last week called for the country to raise its 2030 target to 8GW, up from a recently already boosted goal of 5.7GW. France now commits to 40GW of wind power in its waters by 2050.

The three new Dutch areas will be called Nederwiek, Lagelander and Doordewind, and come in addition to an area already designated in the northern part of the Ijmuiden Ver mega offshore zone, and one in the southern part of the Hollandse Kust West zone.

When designating the wind energy areas, careful consideration was given to the other interests in the North Sea, such as shipping, fishing, nature and defence, Jetten said.

The government proposes to use €1.69bn ($1.87bn) from a climate fund to part finance the pre-development of the new areas, which are still subject to approval by the Dutch parliament.