Initiatives from the industry

IRO, The Association of Dutch Suppliers in the Offshore Energy Industry, has several committees that enable member companies operating with a specific sector to exchange experience and expertise, and to gather information.

1. Oil & Gas (Energy transition, Decommissioning, CCS)
2. Renewables (Offshore Wind, Marine & tidal energy, Geothermia)
3. Innovation & Technology (Digitalisation, Cyber)
4. Sustainability & Safety (Corporate responsibility, Circular economy, Young IRO)
5. International relations & communications

IRO embraces many initiatives that are aimed at creating a sustainable and responsible industry. Wind & Water Works, the North Sea Energy Program (TNO), NEXSTEP, DMEC, GSES and the Offshore Experience (Maritime Museum Rotterdam) are a few examples of these interesting initiatives which are highlighted below.



The Netherlands - Your partner in Offshore Wind

Offshore Wind Map

The Netherlands strives to achieve international climate goals by advancing sustainable energy, with offshore wind power playing a key role. By 2030, Dutch offshore wind capacity will total at least 11.5 GW, supplying significant electricity volumes per year for households and industries.

The success of offshore wind in the Netherlands is largely contributable to a powerful public-private partnership as well as to a strong and firmly established supply chain. Through our joint efforts with the industry, the Dutch Government has demonstrated the potential of offshore wind as a powerful and cost-effective solution to achieving our climate and energy objectives, whilst advancing economic and innovation opportunities.

The Dutch Approach
Dutch public and private parties have teamed up to design, develop, build, and maintain high quality offshore wind farms in the North Sea, one of the busiest sea straits in the world with commercial interests alongside protected wildlife habitats and recreational activities. With four operational wind farms in place, the Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap outlines where new wind farms will be built in the Dutch North Sea up until 2030. This approach provides greater certainty for project developers, increases investor confidence, and drives down overall costs.

Centuries of knowledge
The Dutch have centuries of experience and in-depth knowledge working offshore, owing to decades of worldwide involvement in flood defence, dredging, oil and gas, in addition to a 20-year track record in offshore wind. We are familiar with conditions above and below sea level and have used that knowledge to create a successful Dutch offshore wind energy supply chain. In this chain, small and large companies work with our knowledge institutions to constantly develop innovative solutions for offshore wind farms. With the North Sea in our front yard, we have excellent testing grounds at our doorstep, enabling us to swiftly convert innovation concepts into viable and practical applications to further optimize the use of offshore wind. Cooperate and innovate The Netherlands has a strong research community and a vast network of innovative SMEs, start-ups and scale-ups. There are grants and subsidy programs in place to support innovation. Dutch research and knowledge institutions, like TKI Wind op Zee (Top consortium for Knowledge and Innovation Offshore Wind), facilitate research, development, demonstrations, valorization, knowledge transfer, (international) collaboration, education, and market development towards maximizing the cost reduction and economic impact related to offshore wind.

Distinctive supply chain
The distinctive capabilities of the Dutch supply chain comprise of a wide range of complex and critical components for offshore wind farms, such as: Wind farm development - design, (environmental) studies and (geotechnical) surveys; Structures - manufacturing and supply of foundations, offshore substations and wind turbine parts; Installation and commissioning - construction, design and operation of transport and installation vessels, piling and hammering, cable installation, seabed preparation and scour protection; Operations and maintenance services – logistics, vessel agency services, IRM (Inspection, Repair and Maintenance) services; Research and development - innovation and data gathering, ecological research; End of life solutions - decommissioning, recycling and seabed reconstruction; Consultancy.

Wind and water works
Being at the forefront of the rapid development of offshore wind in our own country, we are keen to share our experiences and knowledge with others. Developing offshore wind farms requires dedicated teamwork, collaboration, and innovation across the board to ensure every wind farm has a safe and sustainable future. The Dutch can significantly contribute to any offshore wind development project in the world, based on a vast and unprecedented track record, a well-established supply chain and our entrepreneurial spirit. Let’s work together to utilize the full potential of offshore wind energy; to contribute to our global climate goals, whilst transforming our business models to serve the sustainable society of tomorrow. We are ready to show the world that wind and water works!

Did you know?
The Dutch Government oversees the whole consenting and permitting process thus lowering risks for developers significantly by providing full sets of certified offshore wind data and site studies, whilst transmission system operator TenneT is responsible for the offshore grid infrastructure. In 2017, the Dutch approach resulted in the first subsidy-free offshore wind farm in the Netherlands.

Dutch companies have contributed to almost all European offshore wind projects and are rapidly expanding their activities on a global scale. Offshore wind is becoming a key industry for major Dutch ports and coastal harbours, spurring new transport, construction and maintenance activities and driving economic stability. New higher education curricula and specialized training focused on employment in the offshore wind sector have been developed to anticipate on the need for 12,000 employees who will work in the Dutch offshore wind sector by 2030.

A strong partnership between the offshore wind supply chain and renowned Dutch knowledge institutions push the boundaries to create innovative offshore wind solutions.





Nexstep was founded as a joint initiative of NOGEPA and EBN. Nexstep serves as the inclusive and collaborative umbrella organization that coordinates, facilitates and seeks dialogue on the decommissioning and re-use agenda for oil and gas infrastructure in the Netherlands.

Is Nexstep’s aim for decommissioning to have zero safety incidents, create minimum environmental impact and realize cost reductions through efficiency. In addition, Nexstep seeks to re-use the infrastructure where possible (accelerating energy transition).

Nexstep focuses on:

  • Identifying and enabling re-use or optimized decommissioning of the current oil and gas infrastructure.
  • Contributing to the creation of a clear legal and regulatory framework in collaboration with all the parties.
  • Setting up a database to provide insight into the scale and timing of decommissioning, for more accurate scheduling & collaboration.
  • Creating an industry shared learning platform.

As the public face of re-use and decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure in the Netherlands, Nexstep will inform and engage with stakeholders and the general public about its work. It will promote transparency about re-use and decommissioning including its scope in the Netherlands amongst others by publishing the yearly Re-use and Decommissioning Report. A dedicated innovation agenda will identify new challenges and promote technology development where it is needed. In 2020, focus will be on developing a new heavy lift standard, developing a pilot producing offshore hydrogen in cooperation with TNO on Q13a, preparing the invitation to tender for the first joint campaign on MLS wells and exploring the route towards rigless abandonment. Nexstep will also continue to encourage industry collaboration, sharing lessons learned and engage with international partner organizations involved in the coordination of re-use and decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure. As of January 2020 IRO, represented by Sander Vergroesen, has joined the Nexstep Supervisory Board as a non-voting member.

More information at



PosHYdon – offshore green hydrogen production from wind power

The North Sea basis is leading in the energy transition from a mature oil and gas basin towards a world leading offshore wind energy producer. The North Sea countries, notably UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Belgium have expressed high ambitions towards the further growth of offshore wind while amongst others Norway is taking the first steps towards floating offshore wind.
This will initially stimulate the decarbonization of the power sector in the North Sea countries, but in order to absorb the vast amounts of renewable intermittent power in the onshore energy system, conversion of electricity to molecules will be needed beyond 2030.

Green hydrogen is the most attractive option to introduce renewable energy from offshore wind in the energy system, and enable the decarbonization of the energy intensive industries, such as refinery, chemical, steel and process industry. For far offshore wind parks, an attractive option is envisaged to convert the offshore wind power directly into green hydrogen by water electrolysis, and transporting the green hydrogen via existing gas pipelines to shore.

North Sea Energy Program
In the North Sea Energy program, a public private partnership in the Netherlands, supported by the Dutch government and 25 industrial partners from the offshore industry, and led by TNO, offshore green hydrogen production has been identified as one of the most attractive options to balance future supply and demand of clean energy from intermittent sources such as offshore wind. In a pilot selection project, led by Nexstep and technology institute TNO, four operators of the Dutch Continental Shelf have expressed an interest to develop offshore green hydrogen production on one of their platforms. The Q13a platform of Neptune Energy has been selected as the most suitable platform to develop and test offshore green hydrogen production from seawater and wind power. The Q13a platform, which is an oil and gas producing platform off the coast of The Hague has sufficient space to locate the electrolyser and water treatment facilities, and is the only fully electrified platform in the Netherlands.

The electrolyser of the PosHYdon pilot will have a capacity of 1 MW, which will produce 200 Nm3 green hydrogen per hour which will be admixed with the hydrocarbon stream to shore. The objective of the worlds first offshore green hydrogen pilot is to obtain more experience with offshore operation of green hydrogen production by means of electrolysis, the economics of offshore production and operation and maintenance experience in an offshore environment. Furthermore the impact of admixing of green hydrogen to the hydrocarbon stream on transport and processing facilities will be studied and monitored. The pilot will provide information about safety aspects and regulatory issues related to offshore green hydrogen production. The electrolyser will operate under simulated variable load conditions as produced from offshore wind turbines, and thereby provide information on dynamic load performance and performance degradation over time. The test will have a duration of minimum two years. Before being installed on the offshore platform, the system consisting of seawater desalinization, water electrolysis and remote communication and data gathering will be tested on an onshore site during several months.

More information:,
More information at



The Power of Marine Energy

The Power of Marine Energy Next to wind and solar power, another mega source of energy is expected to play an increasingly important role in the energy transition: marine energy. As a stable and reliable power supplier, energy generated out of our oceans, seas and rivers will be of great value for balancing the demand and supply of our electricity systems. Together with the offshore energy industry we can fast track this high potential sector.

Marine Energy Solutions
When looking at marine energy, various types can be distinguished: Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Salinity Gradient Energy and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). Depending on geographical location and market purpose, marine energy devices can be integrated in multiple-business cases and offer universal solutions for the offshore, utility and infrastructure sectors. The oil & gas industry can profit from marine energy solutions to reduce the CO2 emissions of oil and gas operations. Electrification of platforms and subsea operations powered by marine energy will be the next era.

For future offshore wind farms that will be constructed far from shore, artificial islands with a combination of marine and wind energy can provide these farms with a steady flow of green power. Marine energy devices can also easily be implemented in existing or new to build infrastructural designs. A tidal energy array has been successfully built in the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier, and plans for a large scale tidal plant in the Brouwersdam are under development.

Offshore Energy Experience
The knowledge and proven concepts of marine energy solutions are available, and the long-term perspective required to stimulate the further development is supported by the development of a Marine Energy Roadmap by the Dutch Government in 2020. This government support is essential to attract private investments and to build track record for the sector, as seen in the offshore wind industry. After years of slow growth, this industry started to snowball as soon as the government of lots of countries decided to aim at offshore wind energy for meeting their sustainability goals. Expertise from the offshore energy sector can help fast track developments. Together we can learn from experience in the fields of offshore construction, the operation of turbines in offshore wind farms and environmental management.

Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC)
DMEC operates as independent consultant and service provider in the international marine energy sector. We collaborate with clients in various market segments to identify, explore and realize tailored solutions using innovative marine energy technologies. Our private and public sector clients include marine energy technology developers, investors, regulators and corporates in the offshore, utility and infrastructure sectors.

For more information, please contact:
Britta Schaffmeister, Director at DMEC
T +31 6 10794649



Students beat maritime experts in Offshore Experience

Offshore Experience

The ‘Seaweed production and CO2 reduction’ idea of four students from Rotterdam was proclaimed the best idea for creating sustainable energy at sea by the visitors of the ‘Offshore Experience’ in the Maritime Museum Rotterdam in 2019. These students beat students from TU Delft and Avans Hogeschool and technical engineers from the maritime industry. Each year, the successful exhibition Offshore Experience is given ‘new energy’ with eight new innovative ideas for the future of energy from the sea.

Offshore Experience, the search for energy
The Offshore Experience is the first ever exhibition in the Netherlands dedicated to the offshore sector, to be housed at the Maritime Museum for seven years. The exhibition was realized with the financial support and knowledge of 56 partners from the offshore and maritime industries.

Imagine yourself on a platform at sea
In the Offshore Experience people of all ages embark on a challenging search at sea for energy. Wearing safety vests and helmets, they will experience what it is like to be on an offshore platform in the middle of the sea and 3 km below sea level. A 360° film projection stimulates the senses. Ships come and go and helicopters land. Models of the newest and most advanced offshore ships demonstrate their capabilities. Offshore employees offer a glimpse into their lives at sea, and simulated presentations enable visitors to experience for themselves how drillers, crane drivers, wind turbine specialists and helicopter pilots perform their demanding tasks on the open sea, in a constant battle against the elements. A lift takes visitors down to a mysterious undersea world; from just below the surface to a depth of 3 km. The adventure ends in the future, as visitors vote for the best idea for producing sustainable energy at sea. With the presentation of the eight ideas for the future of energy, the Maritime Museum offers companies and students a platform to show the public at large how the maritime industry is working towards a sustainable future. One of them is ‘Fishflow Innovations’ presenting its turbine that functions as a source for green energy and is safe for fish to swim through. A hyperloop that connects the European continent with North-America and could transport people and freight as fast as an airplane, but much cleaner is another idea. Also several students launch ideas to monitor and maintain offshore constructions in a more sustainable way. A great opportunity for companies to inspire young people to choose a future in technology.

Submit your idea for the future of energy
Companies that are interested to present their ideas in the Offshore Experience in 2021 or want to host students for two mornings a year for the educational project, can contact relations manager Lucie Kuijpers,

More information at



GSE System is global leader on sustainability ratings and corporate governance

GSE System

GSE System is based on international sustainability standards that covers: CSR, CO2, Sustainable Procurement, Circular Economy, Health & Safety, like the GSE Standard. GSE System measures on; standard level, organization level, supply chain level, product/project level.

The GSE System:

  • An online platform to measure sustainability achievements on international accepted standards
  • The tool can measure on organizational, supply-chain and product level
  • The Global Sustainable MetaStandard® is an overview of all sustainability achievements
  • Applicable for all sectors, from SME up to multinationals
  • Independent assessments and audits by certification bodies (77 countries)
  • For Private and Public organizations
  • Target, monitor and report on SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals UN)
  • Online product/project cards
  • Online system for companies and governments
  • Objectively measuring sustainability International criteria
  • Clear information
  • For purchasing, tendering & marketing

GSES covers a wide range of international measure tools for sustainability like ISO 26000, ISO 20400, ISO 14064-1, ISO 50001, ISO 45001, BS 8001, DSG’s, LCA certification, Circular footprint, Building level, Raw materials, Product & Process level, Organizational level, Supply chain level, External audits by CI’s, Bill of Materials.

The Methodology
Global Sustainable Enterprise System® (GSE System®) is among other things based on the GSE Standard® - the global overarching sustainability standard based on existing international standards, is managed by a wide international range of experts, stakeholder industries and the National Sustainability Institute of the Netherlands. Discover the standards:

Maritime and Offshore sector
GSE System is often used by members from the offshore and maritime industry. IRO endorses GSE System for their members and companies like Van Oord, Heerema Marine Contractors, IFS and many others that have joined the GSE System already. For example Van Oord is not only measuring their own sustainability achievements but also the achievements and transparency of their suppliers.

Key Features

  • Risk management: Better understanding of the relationship between the company’s corporate governance practices and the potential risks that these practices pose for the company’s financial success.
  • Procurement tool: The GSE System platform can be used as a procurement tool. The Supplier functionality on the online platform gives every participant the opportunity to invite and rank suppliers on standardized and internationally accepted sustainability themes. GSE System helps to give the insights you need to make better informed decisions. We help buyers to find the right suppliers, manage their relationships and enjoy increased levels of visibility and control over their entire supply chain.
  • High quality data: Rely on a secure and stable service with consistent, high-quality data.
  • Internal oversight:Improve internal oversight, helping to ensure compliance.
  • Comparability: Absolute ratings enable comparability across industries and companies at both the overall ESG and issue-specific risk levels.
Go to and register.