December 3, 2018 / 4:00 PM / in 2 years

UPDATE 1-Dutch to run subsidy-free offshore wind tender in March

(Adds more detail)

AMSTERDAM, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The Netherlands will launch a tender for the construction of two 350 megawatt (MW) offshore wind farms in March, offering no subsidy on electricity prices, the Dutch government said on Monday.

The Dutch were among the first to offer a zero subsidy tender for wind power last year, with Vattenfall winning the right to build a 700 MW wind farm without price support.

The March 2019 tender is the fourth of five being held by the Dutch government in a push to create 3,500 MW of offshore wind power by 2023.

It saw the price needed to attract builders drop dramatically since the first two auctions in 2016, as surging demand for wind energy, technological progress and competition among turbine makers made construction considerably cheaper.

The Netherlands plans to add a further 7,000 MW in offshore wind capacity between 2024 and 2030, as it seeks to turn around a track record as one of the most polluting countries in Europe.

Solar, wind and biomass accounted for only 6.6 percent of all energy used in 2017, making the Netherlands the worst performer in the European Union apart from Malta and Luxembourg. (Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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