Within two months after the rejection of the STROOM Bill by the Dutch Senate, the Dutch House of Representatives has adopted a new legislative proposal to amend the Dutch Electricity Act 1998. Please find below an update on the offshore wind energy legislation. If this legislative proposal is also adopted by the Dutch Senate before the end of March 2016, the opening of the SDE+ Subsidy and Permit tender Borssele Wind Farm Sites I and II is expected in April 2016.

Introduction

In his letter of 22 January 2016, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, announced that he intended to submit a legislative proposal in respect of the development of an offshore electricity grid to the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) ultimately at the beginning of February 2016 (please click here to view our blogpost ‘Update on offshore wind energy: letter of the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs dated 22 January 2016‘ of 27 January 2016).

On 5 February 2016, Minister Kamp indeed submitted a legislative proposal to the Dutch House of Representatives (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 legislative proposal ‘Amendment of the Electricity Act 1998 (timely realization objectives Energy Agreement)’

The provisions included in the legislative proposal ‘Amendment of the Electricity Act 1998 (timely realization objectives Energy Agreement)’ with respect to offshore wind energy are almost identical to the relevant provisions of the STROOM Bill, which was rejected by the Dutch Senate (Eerste Kamer) on 22 December 2015. The new legislative proposal 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.

Article 16f (4) of the legislative proposal stipulates that further rules regarding the right to compensation and components of such compensation may be made by governmental decree. Alongside the legislative proposal amending the Electricity Act 1998, Minister Kamp also sent the draft governmental decree on the rules regulating compensation in respect of the offshore grid (Ontwerpbesluit schadevergoeding net op zee) to the Dutch House of Representatives (please click here to view the draft governmental decree).

In the Explanatory Memorandum (Memorie van Toelichting) to the legislative proposal, Minister Kamp emphasized that the legislative proposal entering into force shortly is essential to ensure that the objectives of 14% renewable energy in 2020 and 16% in 2023, as laid down in the Energy Agreement (Energieakkoord), can be achieved.

On 18 February 2016, the majority of the coalition parties VVD and PvdA as well as the opposition party GroenLinks voted in favor of the legislative proposal. Minister Kamp now has to convince the Dutch Senate (Eerste Kamer) of the benefit and necessity of the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act 1998 .

Anticipated timing Borssele tender procedures

Finally, Minister Kamp published the anticipated timing of the Borssele tender procedures. If the legislative proposal to amend the Electricity Act 1998 is adopted by the Dutch Senate before the end of March 2016,  the following steps are foreseen:

  • publication of the Project and Site Description Borssele Wind Farm Sites III and IV, version 1, is expected in February 2016;
  • publication of the Wind Farm Site Decisions Borssele Wind Farm Sites I, II, III, IV and V is expected in April 2016;
  • publication of the Project and Site Description Borssele Wind Farm Sites I and II, version 3, is expected in April 2016;
  • opening of the SDE+ Subsidy and Permit tender Borssele Wind Farm Sites I and II is expected in April 2016;
  • opening of the SDE+ Subsidy and Permit tender Borssele Wind Farm Sites III and IV is expected in August 2016.

Please click here to view our earlier blogpost ‘Update on offshore wind energy: letter of the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs dated 22 January 2016’ of 27 January 2016.

For an overview of all English posts published on Stibbeblog regarding Offshore Wind Energy, please click here.