In his letter to Parliament dated 31 October 2013, the Minister of Economic Affairs announces the opening of the SDE+ regulation for 2014.
Opening of SDE+ in 2014
On 1 April 2014, the SDE+ will be opened with a commitment budget of EUR 3.5 billion. The Minister aims to publish the regulation in January 2014 which gives companies the possibility to duly prepare their application.
The methodology of the SDE+ remains unchanged. However, some small changes will be implement-ed either arising from the National Energy Agreement (Nationaal Energieakkoord), or at the request of the renewable energy sector or to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the SDE+. These are:
- Pursuant to the National Energy Agreement, projects that will apply in the future for a SDE+ subsidy will not be eligible for the Energy Investment Allowance (Energie Investerings Aftrek, EIA) at the same time anymore. Companies applying for a subsidy in the so-called "free category" should also bear in mind that they cannot make use of the EIA anymore. There will be a transitional regime for projects that received a SDE(+) decision in 2013 or earlier and that have not made use of the EIA before. They will still be eligible for the EIA.
- Biomass installations which received an Environmental Quality of Electricity Production (Mi-lieukwaliteit Elektriciteits Productie, (OV)MEP) subsidy earlier and which have reached the end of their subsidy period, will be eligible for an extended lifespan under the SDE+. In former regulations, it was possible to apply for an extended lifespan 1,5 year before the expiration of the (OV)MEP subsidy. This limit for submission will be extended to 3 years.
- The category 'kettle on fixed biomass ≥ 0.5 MW' will be divided into two categories: (i) kettle on fixed biomass ≥ 0.5 MW and < 5MW and (ii) kettle on fixed biomass ≥ 5 MW.
- As from 2014, a feasibility study of the project will be required. This should contain, at least, an operating calculation and a substantiation of the equity and financing. Projects with less than 20% equity will be required to present a letter of intent of the lender, stating that the lender is prepared to finance the project in case a positive SDE+ decision will be obtained. From now on, a formal consent of the owner of the location should be included in the application. Projects for the production of sustainable heat will require a substantiation of the heat sales with insight into the prospective purchasers. For geothermal heat projects, a geometric survey will be required.
- One year after obtaining the SDE+ decision (the 'benchmark date'), companies need to show suffi-cient progress has been made by submitting the assignment. If no sufficient progress has been made, the decision may be withdrawn. The released commitment budget from 2011 and 2012 of EUR 92 million (which became available through the withdrawal of decisions) will be used again at the opening of the SDE+ 2014.
The Minister will organize separate tenders in relation to offshore wind farms, starting from 2015. The cost development and roll-out schedule as set out in the National Energy Agreement, will be guiding principles in this process. The Minister will set out in more detail how this can be implemented best in a SDE+ regulation. Where needed, he will amend the SDE+ Decree. Furthermore, he is preparing necessary legislation for offshore wind farms, regulating the issuance system, granting of licenses and the grid at sea.
The Minister will look into how stimulating co-burning in coal-fired power stations can be implemented best in the SDE+. If necessary, he will amend the SDE+ Decree. Furthermore, he will consider whether he will stimulate, as of 2015, combined heat and power (WKK) installations and heat pro-duction on the basis of wood pulp pallets. Regarding wind on land, the Minister will in 2014 study in further detail some points for attention in order to secure effective stimulation thereof. In particular, he will study if he can give wind differentiation a stronger foundation.
Pursuant to the European Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources, member states can co-operate in achieving the renewable energy target by making use of so-called 'flexible mechanisms'. The Minister intends to set out in more detail the methodology thereof and will amend the SDE+ Decree in this respect.