Subsidies for solar projects reduced in autumn application round


On 4 July 2017, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs informed Parliament on the status of the subsidy application round for the production of renewable energy (the SDE+ subsidy) that took place in March this year and on the second SDE+ application round that will open this autumn.

In the March SDE+ application round, 4673 applications were submitted. A large majority of these were for solar projects. Most of these applications have been processed. As of 28 June, 880 applications remained outstanding; it is expected that these applications will be processed this month.

A second SDE+ application round will take place from 3 - 26 October 2017. The total budget for this application round is EUR 6 billion (equalling the budget for the March round). In this application round, the base amount for solar PV (≥ 15 kWp, plus large-scale grid connection) will be reduced from EUR 0.125/kWh to EUR 0.117/kWh. According to the Minister, this reduction is due to rapid cost reductions, in combination with an increase in project size.

It was also announced that for small-scale solar PV (< 1 MW) the development period will be reduced from 3 years to 1.5 years. This is due to the many small-scale projects that had previously obtained the SDE+ subsidy but were not completed.

In his letter, the Minister briefly touched upon the proposal for the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive. He indicated that the Netherlands has expressed concerns that, under the proposed Directive, guarantees of origin may no longer be attributed to subsidised renewable energy producers. Instead, the guarantees of origin will be auctioned by the government and the revenues will be used to promote renewable energy. The Minister also indicated that he will timely inform Parliament upon the introduction of such auctioning obligation, in which case the relevant revisions will only apply to subsidy applications that are submitted after the Minister’s notification.