Regarding the first main contribution, the six periods are:1.The first period (1973–1985) is characterized by the emergence of the idea of OWP among engineering- and policy communities. OWP began as a possible diversification option as a response to the 1972 oil crisis. Given the CEP-37440 of ‘large scale thinking’ about energy systems, offshore placement was considered and researched, but dismissed as being prohibitively expensive compared to onshore wind in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, minor policy support took the form of small parts of consecutive renewable energy research funding programs’ budgets (to research into offshore wind energy as a long-term option).2.The second period (1986–1999) is characterized by policymakers increasingly coming to see the offshore siting of wind turbines as a possible solution for the problematic realization of their onshore wind targets due to societal opposition. Funds were made available, which resulted in a small offshore wind experiment by an energy company, and a study into a larger farm was commissioned, which resulted in the policy decision to construct (and partially fund) an experimental 100 MW farm in the North Sea.3.The third period (2000–2002) is characterized by the emergence of the ‘transition policy’ paradigm in general, and a further increase in policymakers’ expectations around offshore wind in particular. This resulted in the ambitious policy goal of 6000 MW in 2020 and by the search for a market party to construct the first large Dutch experimental offshore wind park. It is further characterized by the private sector taking an unexpected interest in offshore wind energy at a time when no policy was yet present, which resulted in an ad-hoc ‘solution’ in the form of moratorium on license applications.4.The fourth period (2003–2006) is characterized by contestation in a context of consecutive governments for whom climate change and renewable energy were not priorities: contestation around the various licenses required for the two consented OWP farms; contestation over the optimal licensing procedure for future ones; and finally, contestation over the legitimacy of government subsidization of what in this period is increasingly framed as a too expensive option for realizing the Dutch renewable energy targets. One characteristic result of these contestations in this period is increased collaboration among actors in the Dutch offshore wind energy sector. Towards the end of the period, the 2001 moratorium is briefly lifted but quickly reinstated, and it concludes with the withdrawal of subsidy for OWP.5.The fifth period (2007–2009) is characterized by a renewed impulse for OWP. In the context of increased societal attention to climate change, a new (center-left) cabinet sees OWP as a climate change solution. The moratorium is lifted once again, and while the government evaluates applications, it announces a subsidy tender for what is now referred to as ‘Round 2’ of OWP deployment and promises a concession system for the future ‘Round 3’. But after the two ‘Round 1’ farms come online, the subsidy is granted, and the concession system laid down in a new national water policy, the cabinet is replaced by a more center-right one which substantially revises renewable energy subsidy system and eliminates OWP from it.6.The sixth period (2010–2013) is characterized by a shift in policy support for OWP from deployment to cost-reduction through innovation in the context of the new cabinet’s ‘top sector’ policy paradigm: stimulating industry-research-policy cooperation by adopting a facilitating role in supporting initiatives by market parties. OWP is named a ‘key area’ in the ‘top sector energy’ in part because of its job potential and is supported through a ‘green deal’ and an ‘innovation contract’. The OWP sector’s focus is now significant cost reduction, which was made a prerequisite for (financial) government support for further deployment in a future ‘Round 3’.