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Netherlands

Netherlands

Green labels hitch

Two months after the official launch of green energy labels in the Netherlands, there was still no means of monitoring trade on the new market in electricity credits. Buyers and sellers should have been provided with an overview of market trends on a dedicated web site, but software problems delayed its launch, says Peter Niermeijer of utility organisation EnergieNed, the body responsible for the operation of the market (Windpower Monthly, March 1998).

Niermeijer expected the site to be operational by mid March, but says it will only be able to provide a full picture of market trading in July as the task of registering details of all Dutch wind turbines has proved more laborious than expected.

The absence of a functioning market monitor has not, however, stifled trading. Niermeijer reports that it is brisk. On the evidence of the first two months, he says, two trends have become apparent. Power companies which have a renewables deficit are "very busy" trying to reduce their deficit by buying green electricity credits on the market, while larger power companies, such as EDON, PNEM, and DELTA, are considering how they should proceed. "Should they make or buy their green electricity?" he asks. The activity of the smaller utilities on the market is particularly encouraging, Niermeijer believes. Until now they "had little interest" in developing their renewable resources.

The development of the market after 2000, by which time utilities must have fulfilled their first quotas for renewables supply, is still being debated. The Ministry of Economic Affairs wants a sharp increase in the next quota target, while the utilities would like a more gradual increase. Lack of market transparency is also a continuing cause for concern, says Niermeijer.

As yet EnergieNed does not have details of the volume of labels being traded, but Niermeijer says the current rate for a Green Label is around NLG 0.05/kWh -- in line with expectations that when it is added to the avoided cost tariff, the notional cost price of wind electricity on the market would be NLG 0.16/kWh ($0.08/kWh).

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