Consultation draft STROOM legislation
From 31 July to 8 September 2014 interested parties were able to provide their comments to the draft STROOM legislation via an online consultation. However, it was only recently that the government has published the consultation report attached to a memorandum of reply of Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs. In this memorandum, the Minister responded to the questions raised during the consultation and several changes have been made to the draft legislation with regard thereto. In his response, the Minister focused on three main aspects, i.e. the redefining of vague and/or incomplete terms, the independence of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) and the policy neutral transposal of some chapters. The latter includes the reproduction of chapters from the current legislation.
In addition, an amendment has been made with respect to the Consultative Referendum Act ("CRA") which was implemented on 1 July 2015. The CRA enables everyone which is entitled to vote, to request for a consultative referendum regarding an act or treaty. Since the Electricity and Gas Act will appoint TenneT as offshore transmission system operator, swift implementation is deemed fundamental to enable Tennet to start with its work activities. To facilitate this, the amended provision allows the legislator to waive the right of a consultative referendum via Article 12 CRA.
Draft Decree Electricity and Gas
The Draft Decree Electricity and Gas was presented to the Dutch Senate. The Senate Committee on Economic Affairs finds this premature, as the Draft Decree includes implementation regulations to the Electricity and Gas Act, which is still pending in the House of Representatives. To prevent suspension of the procedure, Minister Kamp proposes to continue with this procedure directly after the House of Representatives adopts the Electricity and Gas Act. Last week the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs discussed this procedural matter and will address this to the Minister on 6 October 2015.
The time frame of the Electricity and Gas Act and the Draft Decree Electricity and Gas remains tight. Minister Kamp continues to push for the timely implementation of this regulation, which will be vital for the current planning of offshore wind farm Borssele I and II. The STROOM legislation will be one of the last major outstanding building blocks of the legal framework to achieve the renewable electricity objectives of the Dutch Energy Accord.