Surprisingly in line with our client alerts of December and January, yesterday, the Dutch Senate adopted the Act amending the Electricity Act 1998, paving the way for the first offshore wind tenders, related to the offshore Borssele sites I and II, in April.

On 22 December 2015, the Senate rejected the legislative package amending the Electricity and Gas Act ("STROOM") for reason of the unbundling paragraphs contained therein, thus forcing the Dutch Minister to run the gauntlet on alternative legislation.

The Act amending the Electricity Act 1998 adopted yesterday creates the regulatory framework to:

  1. appoint the Dutch TSO, TenneT, as grid operator of such offshore grid;
  2. pay damages related to construction delays and interruptions in the connection; and
  3. expedite and facilitate the connection of onshore wind farms. 

As a consequence, the Borssele site I and II tenders can be held in April, in time to count against the 2020 renewable targets set out in the 2013 Dutch Energy Accord.

(Click here to view chart on original update)

The Borssele Wind Farm Zone and surrounding areas.

Source: Project and Site Description, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

The roadmap to 6000 MW onshore wind capacity

The 2013 Dutch Energy Accord also aims for the construction of 6000 MW of onshore wind energy by 2020. Last week, the RVO published the Wind Monitor 2015, which outlines the current expectations regarding the realisation of onshore wind by 2020. At the end of last year, 2950 MW was operational in the Netherlands.

In comparison to the previous edition, the Wind Monitor reports an increase of 425 MW (+ 16,8%), but also indicates that continued commitment will be needed to achieve the remaining 3.050 MW in time. It argues that under current policies, the Netherlands can realise approximately 5100 MW by 2020, thus falling short of the 6000 MW goal significantly. To address this, the Dutch Government, acting as part of the "Core Team Wind on Land", is in the process of executing an action plan, that identifies and addresses impediments to growth, such as process optimisation, radar, flight safety, land prices and grid connection.