The Netherlands’ ambition is to transition from a fossil fuel dominated society to a new energy mix which is predominantly sustainable. However, this should be cost effective, have societal support, security of supply needs to be ensured and (in)dependence of foreign nations should be considered. Based on this the offshore wind energy has been very successful in delivering large and cost effective windfarms on the North Sea. The power of these windfarms is delivered to shore via high voltage cables which have no connection to the existing offshore gas infrastructure. With the increasing capacity of wind energy, transport and storage of energy might becoming an issue.

There is a large opportunity to (re-)use the existing gas infrastructure by connecting these to the windfarms. This will allow electrification of offshore platforms and thereby reduce offshore CO2 emissions. Several possibilities of electrification of offshore platforms are been studied and the most promising opportunities are currently in development. Turning these existing offshore gas platforms from gas driven into electrical driven, confronts the developers with many challenges.

In the future electrified platforms will in turn enable a more optimal use of the windfarms. In the future, the HV connection can also be used to minimize curtailments of windfarms due to strong winds by converting electricity to H2 (P2G) and spike the H2 in the gas pipelines and transported onshore. In addition, the connection can be used to provide the power required for CCS offshore.

During this lecture an overview of the current situation, opportunities, technical challenges and a glance of the future perspectives of the possibilities of offshore electrification will be presented. In a rather unique setup, the presentation will be done by representatives of three different stakeholders; each giving their own unique view of the main challenges ahead.


Erwin Niessen graduated as mechanical engineering at the University of Eindhoven in 1997. Starting as a mechanical and process engineer at a Dutch EPC contractor, he had several roles in engineering, procurement, construction management and project management. In 2005 he joined Essent (later RWE) where he has led a mechanical department, led project teams and served operations with a team of technical and projects experts. In 2015, he joined EBN where he has a strong focus on innovations, cost optimisations, sustainability and cooperation. With his technical and managerial skills, together with his strong focus for cooperation, he leads various innovations and developments in the energy transition and system integration.

Graciela Fernandez Betancor is Concept Engineer at NAM. Graciela Studied Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London and joined Chevron in 2007 straight after graduation. Throughout her career she has had a numbers of roles in process engineering, operations support and Front-end engineering; which she focused on since she joined Shell in 2014. In the last two years she has been dedicated in realizing front end opportunities in the energy transition area with particular focus on Electrification of offshore assets and CCS in NL.

Joris Koornneef has a background in Science & Innovation Studies at Utrecht University. He is active in the field of zero emission power, or even carbon negative technologies, since 2005. He holds a PhD on the health, safety and environmental impacts of CCS. At ECN.TNO he currently supports the implementation and use of the subsurface within the energy transition towards a low carbon society. His focus areas are subsurface energy storage and energy transition opportunities in the North Sea. Joris is the scientific Lead of the North Sea Energy programme on offshore energy transition and system integration in the North Sea area.