Everything you need to know about the autumn application round 2019 of the SDE+ grant
15 July 2019
On 10 July 2019, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate (Minister van Economische Zaken en Klimaat) has informed the Dutch parliament (Tweede Kamer) in relation to the design of the second application round of the SDE+ grant. With the SDE+ grant, the Minister stimulates the development of renewable energy projects in the Netherlands. In this newsletter, we provide an overview of the most important information in relation to the autumn application round.
The autumn application round will be opened in three phases of one week starting from 29 October up to and including 14 November. There is an obligations budget (verplichtingenbudget) of 5 billion euro available for the autumn application round (which is the same as for the spring application round). This budget is the maximum amount which can be granted during the term of the projects. During the spring application round, the budget was not entirely used. The budget claim was 4.8 billion euro.
Uniform approval form
As of the autumn application round, applicants for SDE+ grants are obliged to use a uniform form from which it should appear that the owner has granted its approval for the realisation and exploitation of a system. The Minister intends to avoid that grants will be held for projects that will not be realised. To that end, the Decision SDE+ (Besluit SDE+) provides that an application can be denied if the owner has not granted its approval at the moment of the filing of the application. However, the current practise shows that several different approval forms are being used which are not always as transparent as desired. By using one uniform form, the feasibility of the project can be assessed more expediently. In due course, this uniform approval form will be available via rvo.nl.
Mandatory transportation indication
As of the autumn application round, the Minister intends to include a new provision in the SDE+ programme which provides that electricity producers must submit a document from the network operator (netbeheerder) evidencing the fact that there is sufficient transportation capacity available at the location of the intended production installation in order to qualify for the SDE+ grant. According to the Minister, the current electricity network is already under pressure due to the realisation of the future projects during the coming years and new future projects will only result in an increase of problems in this respect. A “transportation indication” should improve the success rate of projects with an SDE+ grant.
Due to this transportation indication it will be difficult (or even impossible) to obtain an SDE+ grant for sustainable energy projects in areas with insufficient capacity. Several interest groups have already objected to the intention of the Minister to provide for a mandatory submission of a transportation indication. They are of the opinion that this will obstruct finding possible solutions in relation to the lack of capacity.
Lower maximum standard amounts
In comparison to the spring application round of 2019, lower maximum standard amounts will apply to all solar-PV categories. The standard amount consists of the average production costs of renewable energy. De SDE+ reimburses the difference between the costs of the renewable energy and the market value of the energy provided. The advice by the Dutch environmental assessment agency (Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving, PBL) for the SDE+ 2019 shows that the decrease in production costs of the electricity resulting from solar-PV continues. As a result, the maximum standard amounts for all solar-PV categories are decreased with 2% – 5% in comparison to the spring application round of 2019.
The measures mentioned above are still to be discussed in the Dutch parliament before the final SDE+ programme will be established mid-September. The transportation indication will definitely be an important subject of debate.
In his letter, the Minister provides some new information in relation to the new SDE++ which will come into effect as of 2020. As of 2020, the new objective of the broader SDE+ will be the reduction of CO2 emission in order to contribute to the objective of a reduction of 49% of CO2 emission in 2030. Please also see our blog in that respect. It is expected that the obligation budget will decrease in the course of 2020. In addition, the Minister explores several additional possibilities to amend legislation as per the 2020 application round in order to increase the number of realised projects. It is possible that a new category for wind turbines limited in height will be introduced.