In a continuation of last week’s intense debate, tuesday afternoon the Dutch House of Representatives adopted the STROOM legislative package. This package forms a complete overhaul of the Dutch Electricity and Gas Acts and is a necessary to give the Dutch TSO, TenneT, the legal position it needs to construct and operate the planned Dutch offshore power grid. That grid is essential to the success of the Borssele (and subsequent) offshore wind power generation tenders.
Minister Kamp pointed out that every delay to the implementation of the STROOM legislation would jeopardize the timely development of Dutch offshore wind farms and thus the targets agreed in the 2013 Energy Accord. The House also adopted 7 of the 22 proposed amendments. The two most discussed amendments were the one allowing for cross participations by the national grid operators and one concerning the allocation of costs between the national and local governments related to overhead power lines. The Senate Committee on Economic Affairs will discuss the further procedure on October 27.
Together with the Unbundling Act ("Wet onafhankelijk netbeheer"), the STROOM legislation requires the unbundling of integrated Dutch utilities. In the House, unbundling and its consequences for incumbent utilities faced continuous criticism. The debate involved important issues like the preservation of jobs and possible effects on the Borssele nuclear power station.