On 22 March 2016, the majority of the Dutch Senate (Eerste Kamer) voted in favor of the legislative proposal to amend the Dutch Electricity Act 1998 of Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs (please click here to view the legislative proposal ‘Amendment of the Electricity Act 1998 (timely realization objectives Energy Agreement’) (Wijziging van de Elektriciteitswet 1998 (tijdig realiseren doelstellingen Energieakkoord)).
The Dutch House of Representatives already adopted the legislative proposal on 18 February 2016 (please click here to view our blogpost ‘Update on offshore wind energy: legislative proposal to amend the Dutch Electricity Act 1998 adopted by Dutch House of Representatives‘ of 23 February 2016).
Legislative proposal ‘Amendment of the Electricity Act 1998’
The provisions included in the legislative proposal with respect to offshore wind energy are almost identical to the relevant provisions of the STROOM Bill, which was rejected by the Dutch Senate on 22 December 2015.
The legislative proposal to amend the Dutch Electricity Act 1998 inter alia provides a statutory basis for the offshore grid as well as a statutory basis to designate TenneT as the offshore transmission system operator. Furthermore, the legislative proposal provides clarity to wind farm developers with respect to liability in the event of delays and breakdowns of the offshore grid.
Timely realization objectives Energy Agreement
Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs previously indicated that the rejection of the STROOM Bill by the Dutch Senate could cause a delay of the subsidy tender in respect of the first two sites in the Borssele wind farm zone (Borssele I and II) of six months and, as a result thereof, would endanger the timely realization of the objectives under the Energy Agreement. Therefore, Minister Kamp requested both the Dutch House of Representatives and the Dutch Senate to debate the new legislative proposal to amend the Electricity Act 1998 expeditiously. Minister Kamp announced that, in order for the Borssele I and II subsidy tenders to be able to be taken into account for the objectives of 14% renewable energy in 2020 and 16% in 2023, the legislative proposal would have to enter into force ultimately on 1 April 2016.
With the adoption of the legislative proposal by the Dutch Senate on 22 March 2016, Minister Kamp accomplished his mission of convincing Dutch Parliament of the benefit and necessity of the proposed amendments of the Dutch Electricity Act 1998 in view of the timely realization of the objectives under the Energy Agreement. The legislative proposal is now expected to enter into force on 1 April 2016.
Opening of SDE+ Subsidy and Permit tender Borssele Wind Farm Sites
With the adoption by Dutch Parliament of the legislative proposal to amend the Dutch Electricity Act 1998, the opening of the first Borssele tender (Borssele Wind Farm Sites I and II) is anticipated in April 2016 (four months later than originally anticipated), whereas the closing thereof is expected in May 2016.
The opening of the second tender (Borssele Wind Farm Sites III and IV) is expected in August 2016.