The Netherlands - Government renews commitment to wind

THE NETHERLANDS: A new Dutch coalition government sworn in at the end of 2012 has committed to sourcing 16% of the country's final energy consumption from renewables by 2020, an increase on the country's 14% target under the EU renewables directive.

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Meeting this target will require an additional 12GW of wind energy, up from the current 2.4GW, according to Dutch bank ING.

In 2013, there will be at least 200MW of onshore wind connected to the grid. The Zuidlob wind farm in the central province of Flevoland will add 122MW and Kreekaksluis, in Zeeland province in the south-west of the country, should add 77.5MW. No new offshore capacity is expected in the country until 2014.

The government has pledged EUR 2.4 billion of extra funding to 2020 for an improved version of the renewables incentive scheme, known as SDE+, which was introduced last year. This should result in extra money for wind, which has lost out for the past two years as the budget was spent on other renewable energy forms.

A new addition to the SDE+ scheme for 2013 is wind differentiation, a subsidy for onshore wind, which varies from EUR 0.15/KWh to EUR 0.07/KWh according to availability levels. The fewer full-load hours a turbine operates, the higher the subsidy. In December, minister of economic affairs Henk Kamp announced a surcharge on consumers' energy bills to finance the SDE+ scheme to give the sector some stability.

After two years of fighting between central and local government, there seems to be some agreement on how much onshore wind each province will host. However, it is not complete as some provinces have not designated enough land and in several locations there is not enough suitable land.

In terms of offshore wind, all that the coalition has said so far is that it will streamline the permitting process and work with the industry to bring costs down. It will continue to support the Green Deal, an initiative launched with the wind industry in 2011, which promises to cut offshore wind costs by 40% by 2020.

New installed capacity for 2012 totalled 82MW and was all onshore. This brings the latest figures for installed capacity for the Netherlands to: 2,163MW onshore and 247MW offshore. This was in line with expectations. There have been only a few projects the last few years that have received the subsidy so the ones that were built are mainly older pipeline projects.

netherlands capacity pie

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