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12 March 2018
In a December 6 2017 letter to Parliament, the minister of economic affairs and climate announced that the new government has reserved €12 billion to grant subsidies in 2018 for the production of renewable energy under the Renewable Energy Grant Scheme (SDE+). The SDE+ subsidies, which will be made available to applicants in two €6 billion tranches, aim to accelerate the development and use of sustainable energy production technologies. The first tranche will be available from March 13 to April 5 2018. The second tranche is expected to become available in Autumn 2018.
The SDE+ programme is one of the various measures taken by the new government to meet its ambitious climate goals. These are set out in the government's coalition agreement for 2017 to 2021, titled Confidence in the Future, under which the Netherlands aims to have reduced its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by no less than 49% by 2030. The government recognises that although sustainable energy production technologies are rapidly improving and becoming more efficient, energy from renewable sources remains, in most cases, more expensive than energy from fossils. Therefore, new subsidies have been made available to stimulate the production of energy from renewable sources.
The 2018 SDE+ programme builds on the SDE+ programmes of previous years and is based on the same principles of technology neutrality and competition for subsidies. However, the 2018 programme's scope is broader than that of its predecessors, as non-production measures for the reduction of CO2 emissions are now also eligible for subsidy.
The SDE+ programme has the following main features:
As indicated above, the SDE+ programme is based on the principle of technology neutrality. This means that it does not favour one technology over another, provided that such technology falls within the definition of 'renewable energy sources' included in Article 2 of the EU Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC). However, the technology neutrality principle does not detract from the phased structure whereby the cheapest technologies can apply for subsidies first. The only projects that are excluded from the SDE+ programme are offshore wind power projects. The government will tender several offshore wind power projects in separate procedures where it hopes to receive offers from parties that do not require any support. This demonstrates the progress that has been made with offshore wind power in terms of efficiency.
The new government has renewed the SDE+ programme as a measure to meet its ambitious climate goals. However, at the same time, the SDE+ programme aims to develop renewable production technologies further and increase their efficiency. The SDE+ programme therefore contributes to its own redundancy – namely, a future where subsidy programmes are no longer necessary for renewable energy production.
For further information on this topic please contact Mattijs Baneke at Stek Advocaten BV by telephone (+31 20 530 52 00) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Stek Advocaten BV website can be accessed at www.stek.com.
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