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Energy Legislation overview - March 2010

07/04/2010

Please find below an overview of parliamentary papers in relation to the energy sector published in March 2010.

Click on the link for a full-text document.

Electricity and Gas

1. Bill regarding amendment of the Gas Act and the Electricity Act 1998 with respect to the reinforcement of the gas market, improvement of the security of supply and rules in relation to priority access to renewable energy

The Bill is currently pending before the Senate. By letter of 3 March 2010, the Standing Committee of Economic Affairs of the Senate has requested the Minister of Economic Affairs ('MEA') to separate the Bill into: (i) a bill with regard to the priority access to renewable energy (ii) a bill dealing with all the other matters in the present Bill. By letter of 5 March 2010 denied the separation of the Bill. Parliamentary Papers I 2009/2010, 31904, no. B

2. Gas Codes

On 11 March the Association of Energy Network Operators in the Netherlands has submitted a proposal for amendment of the Metering conditions for gas. The amendment regards the hourly and monthly metering data. Parties are entitled to give their views to the Office of Energy Regulation of the Dutch Competition Authority until 22 April 2010. Government Gazette (Staatscourant) 2010, no. 3795

On the same date the Association of Energy Network Operators has also submitted the following amendment proposals for investigation: (i) the Conditions for the Connection of Gas (Aansluitvoorwaarden Gas) for the national grid manager, (ii) the Conditions for the Network Connection of Gas (Netkoppelingsvoorwaarden Gas) for the national grid manager, the (iii) the introduction of Conditions for Feed-in of Gas (Invoedvoorwaarden Gas) for the national grid manager as well as (iv) the Connections Register (aansluitingenregister) and the Glossary of Gas Terms (begrippenlijst Gas) Government Gazette (Staatscourant) 2010, no. 3796, and Government Gazette (Staatscourant) 2010, no. 4758

3. Capacity tariff for transmission

Royal Decree (Koninklijk Besluit) announcing that Article I of the Act of 3 December 2009 to amend the Electricity Act 1998 will enter into force on 15 April 2010. Article I addresses a compensation payable by the network operator to consumers with a connection of 3*25A - 3*80A due to the introduction of the capacity tariff for transmission of electricity. Bulletin of Acts and Decrees (Staatsblad) 2010, 129

4. Third Structure Plan Electricity Supply (Derde Structuurschema Elektriciteitsvoorziening)

The Third Structure Plan Electricity Supply contains a key planning decision in relation to large-scale power plants and high voltage electricity transmission networks and aims to guarantee the availability of sufficient locations for the development such large-scale power plants and high voltage electricity transmission networks.

Letter of MEA and the Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment of 19 February 2010 regarding part four of the Third Structure Plan Electricity Supply. Part four of the Third Structure Plan Electricity Supply contains the key planning decision (planologische kernbeslissing) for the period up to 2020. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 31410, no. 16

Letter of MEA and the Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment of 19 February 2010 regarding the evaluation of the Third Structure Plan Electricity Supply. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 31410, no. 17

Renewable energy and climate change

5. Wind energy

In a letter of 19 February 2010 the MEA addresses the role of Tennet with regard to the development of a high-voltage offshore grid in the North Sea and the financing of thereof. On the basis of the current Electricity Act 1998 TenneT is not responsible for, and not required to develop, such a North Sea grid. A Bill will be prepared to amend the Electricity Act 1998 to this effect. The Bill will also contain a new system based on concessions for offshore wind energy. The MEA aims to present the Bill to Parliament mid 2010. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 31239, no. 91

6. CCS

Member States are required to transpose the Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide ('CCS Directive') into national law by 25 June 2011. On 19 March a first version of the Bill amending the Mining Act with respect to the implementation of the CCS Directive was published and sent to Parliament. The current Bill merely addresses issues that are required to be addressed pursuant to the Directive. A further Bill containing Dutch policy in relation to CCS will follow

Bill regarding amendment of the Mining Act with respect to the implementation of the CCS Directive. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 32343, no. 2

Explanatory memorandum to the Bill. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 32343, no. 3

Reaction of the Minister of Economic Affairs of 12 March 2010 regarding the advice of the Council of State (Raad van State) to the Bill. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 32343, no. 4

Letter of the MEA of 8 March 2010 on the CO2 storage project in Barendrecht. In this letter the MEA informs Parliament that no irreversible decisions will be taken with regard to CO2 storage in Barendrecht prior to discussions with Parliament on the implementation of the motions Van der Ham and Spies/Samsom. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 28982, no. 103

7. EU Emission Trading System ('EU ETS') and climate change

By letter of 10 March the Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment replied to questions raised by Parliament in relation to the assessment of the Court of Audit (Algemene Rekenkamer) of the implementation of the EU Emission Trading System in the Netherlands. Issues addressed in this letter regard the allocation of emission allowances, carbon leakage, the supervision by the Dutch Emissions Authority and the achievement of the targets under the Kyoto Protocol with respect to certified emission reductions (CERs) and emission reduction units (ERUs). Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 31252, no. 10

Report of the General Consultation (Algemeen Overleg) held on 11 March 2010 between the Standing Committee of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment and the Standing Committee of European Affairs. The consultation regarded letters of the Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment and the President of the Court of Audit (Algemene Rekenkamer) on among others the following subjects: the report of the Court of Audit regarding the implementation of the EU ETS in the Netherlands (see above) and the answers of the President of the Court of Audit in relation to questions raised on this report and an account of the climate conference in Copenhagen. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 21501-08, no. 328

Letter of the Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment of 19 March 2010 regarding the communication of the European Commission 'International climate policy post-Copenhagen'. This communication was adopted on 9 March 2010 and sets out an EU strategy to help maintain the momentum of global efforts to tackle climate change following the December 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 31793, no. 38

8. Sustainable Energy Incentive (Stimulering duurzame energie)

Letter of the MEA of 24 February 2010 on the implementation of five motions in relation to the Sustainable Energy Incentive Scheme (SDE) that were adopted during the General Consultation (Algemeen Overleg) held on 3 December 2010. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 31239, no. 92

Report of the Court of Audit (Algemene Rekenkamer) of 12 March 2010 regarding the incentive schemes for sustainable energy production, 'MEP' and its follow-up the 'SDE'. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 32340, no. 2

Ministerial order of 19 March 2010 regarding the adoption of correction amounts for the various production categories of the SDE in 2009. This ministerial order will enter into force on 30 March 2010. Government Gazette (Staatscourant) 2010, no. 4674

9. Biofuels

Letter of the Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment of 19 March 2010 on the development of a system to guarantee the sustainability of fuel E85 in anticipation of the implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive, 2009/28/EC (which is expected to take place later this year). Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 30196, no. 101.

10. Green Funds Scheme 2010 (Regeling Groenprojecten)

As of 30 March 2010 the Green Funds Scheme 2005 has been replaced by a new version. The Green Funds Scheme 2010 designates projects that are eligible for a low interest rate on project loans. It covers a broad range of projects, including among others projects for the development of nature, forest and landscape, organic farming, renewable energy and sustainable construction. Government Gazette (Staatscourant) 2010, no. 4440

Answers of the Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment of 19 February 2010 on questions raised by the Standing Committee of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment following the Minister's letter of 9 December 2009 with regard to the draft Green Funds Scheme 2010. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 30196, no. 99

11. Governmental programme: Clean and Efficient, New energy for climate policy (Schoon en zuinig)

Letter of the Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment of 16 March 2010 regarding two studies on co-digestion, addressing safety issues and other risks. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 31209, no. 114

Miscellaneous

12. Heat

Letter of the MEA of 2 March 2010 on the inquiry into the effects of the reasonable price and maximum price on the profitability of heat nets. The MEA informs Parliament that the inquiry will be completed later than originally expected. The results of the inquiry are expected at the end of April. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 29048, no. 48

Ministerial order of 8 March 2010 regarding amendments to the Subsidy Scheme Energy and Innovation (Subsidieregeling energie en innovatie). The Subsidy Scheme Energy and Innovation aims to stimulate the development of technologies for the supply of sustainable energy. Aforementioned amendments regard the introduction of a programme on the utilization of industrial heat. This ministerial order entered into force on 13 March 2010. Government Gazette (Staatscourant) 2010, no. 3775

13. Mining Act

The severance tax tariff (cijns) for the calendar year 2009 is increased with 25% in accordance with Article 63 of the Mining Act. Government Gazette (Staatscourant) 2010, no. 4012

14. Crisis- and Recovery Act

On 16 March 2010 the Crisis- and Recovery Act was adopted by the Senate. The Act will enter into force on 31 March 2010. The Act aims to accelerate administrative proceedings and decision making for projects regarding sustainability, accessibility and (house-) construction in favour of employment.

In particular the paragraph on expropriation has been strongly criticized. In view of the urgent nature of the Act, the Prime Minister has refused to look for an acceptable alternative and has insisted on inclusion of this paragraph in the Act. In his letter of 4 March the Prime Minister has, however, indicated that it is conceivable that the relevant paragraph will not be applied in practice.

Report of a public consultation of experts with the Standing Committee of Transport, Public Works and Water Management held on 16 February 2010. Parliamentary Papers I 2009/2010, 32127, no. F

Final report of the Standing Committee of Transport, Public Works and Water Management of 9 March 2010. Parliamentary Papers I 2009/2010, 32127, no. G

Response of the Prime Minister on 4 March to the letter of the Standing Committee of Transport, Public Works and Water Management regarding the provisions on expropriation (article 3.9 of the Bill). Parliamentary Papers I 2009/2010, 32127, no. H

Publication of the Crisis- and Recovery Act. Bulletin of Acts and Decrees (Staatsblad) 2010, 135

Publication of the amendment of article 5.10 sub 1 of the Crisis- and Recovery Act. This amendment will enter into force on 31 March 2010. Bulletin of Acts and Decrees (Staatsblad) 2010, 136

The Crisis- and Recovery Act will enter into force on 31 March 2010. Bulletin of Acts and Decrees (Staatsblad) 2010, 137

15. Act on the Exchange of Information in relation to Subsoil Cables and Pipelines

The Act on the Exchange of Information in relation to Subsoil Cables and Pipelines entered into force on 1 July 2008. It aims to avoid damage to subsoil cables and pipelines. Certain parts of the Act that relate to the implementation of a system for electronic data exchange have not yet entered into force. Pursuant to the Royal Decree dated 2 March these articles (i.e. articles 4, 5, 18 and 19) of the Act will enter into force on 1 July 2010. Bulletin of Acts and Decrees (Staatsblad) 2010, 113

16. Pilot 'Sustainable Mobility'; hybrid and electric driving

Letter of the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management and the MEA of 17 March 2010 regarding the establishment of a Formule E-team as mentioned in the plan of action on electric driving (31305, no. 145). The Formule E-team will promote electric driving and to remove barriers for the development of electric driving. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 31305, no. 174

17. Sustainable construction

Letter of the Minister responsible for Housing, Communities and Integration of 19 February 2010 submitting two reports on the current status of energy efficiency measures in relation to existing houses and the use of energy by occupants. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 30196, no. 98

The Minister responsible for Housing, Communities and Integration announced to allocate an amount of EUR 3,000,000 to a maximum of 13 large-scale innovative and energy-efficient construction projects in order to acquire experience in large-scale energy-efficient and innovative new housing projects. By regulation dated 11 March the Minister established an Advisory Committee to assist with the assessment of the applications. Government Gazette (Staatscourant) 2010, no. 4546

18. Controversial issues

Since the fall of the Dutch Cabinet on 20 February 2010, the Netherlands has a caretaker cabinet. On 11 March 2010 the Parliament agreed on a list of controversial issues. Debates on these controversial issues will be postponed until a new cabinet has taken office. Parliamentary Papers II 2009/2010, 32333, no. 14

Authors

Picture of Cecilia Weijden
Cecilia van der Weijden
Partner
Amsterdam