More than 13,500 buyers, investors, business leaders and engineers are expected to focus on the future of the gas, oil and renewables industry at the Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference (OEEC) in Amsterdam in October (13-14).

It will be the eighth consecutive year the Amsterdam RAI hosts the OECC, hosting 650 exhibitors from more than 80 different countries. Based on the theme ‘Investing in the future of energy’, it will incorporate Well Intervention, Marine Energy, Technical Data Management and HP/HT Drilling, Decommissioning and Subsea Processing.

The Netherlands is a fitting host for the event, with its aims to have a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy system by 2050. This includes generating some 40 per cent of its electricity from sustainable sources like wind at sea and biomass by that time. The government has also earmarked an annual sum of €1.4 billion to stimulate renewable energy production, to meet the European Renewable Energy Directive’s target of 14 per cent renewable energy by 2020.

The Dutch approach is driven by innovation, with the government, private sector, and academia co-operating on priority topics including: energy savings in industry and the built environment, gas, smart grids, wind at sea, solar energy and bio energy. The Netherlands is experimenting with energy from waves, algae and biomass. Other areas of expertise include offshore wind energy and advanced gas technology, co-combustion of biomass in coal-fired power plants, pre-treatment methods of biomass, the use of landfill gas, and the use of heat pumps combined with heat and cold storage.

The knowledge sector includes Groningen Energy Delta Institute, an international energy business school, while ECN (the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands) leads international research in solar power, wind energy, biomass, waste, energy efficiency, the environment and sustainable energy systems.

The Netherlands is a pivotal player in the European gas market, thanks to its position as a major natural gas producer and gas broker – almost 30 per cent of the European natural gas reserves are in the Netherlands, with 15 to 20 per cent of the gas consumed in Europe coming from the Netherlands. The Hague hosts the highest concentration of exploration and production (E&P) companies in any given city in Continental Europe.

For a nation renowned for its iconic windmills, wind power remains a key driver of industry. The Dutch government has goals to build 6,000 megawatt (MW) of offshore wind power by 2020, earmarking 65 sites for offshore wind farms in the North Sea and IJsselmeer. Currently under construction, the 600 MW Gemini offshore wind park in the Dutch North sea will be one of the world’s largest wind farms, both in terms of size and production, when it is completed in 2017.

The day before Offshore Energy opens, Amsterdam RAI will host the 6th annual Offshore WIND Conference, presenting the latest in wind farm developments and addressing the sector’s key technical, operational, and commercial challenges. Anyone registering for the Offshore WIND Conference receives automatic access to the OEEC.