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Update SDE+ 2019 autumn round and 2020 spring round

29/04/2020

In December 2019 we have provided you with an update on the SDE+ 2019 autumn round and indicated to keep you updated with regard to the final results thereof. Those results should already have been made available. However, the announcement of the results has been delayed due to the large amount of applications for geothermic projects. It turns out that the assessment of those projects is more complicated and time consuming than expected.

In the meantime, the first figures relating to the additional SDE+ 2020 spring round have been published. This is the final SDE+ round, as hereafter the SDE+ will be replaced by the Stimulation of Sustainable Energy Transition (SDE++). The goal of the SDE++ scheme is to reduce CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions. As a consequence, technologies will no longer compete on the basis of amounts of renewable energy produced, but rather on the amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that have been avoided.

For the SDE+ 2020 spring round a total budget of EUR 4 billion has been made available. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency received 7,562 subsidy applications (whereas 7,525 applications were received in the 2019 autumn round) for a total budget claim of EUR 4.1 billion. Solar is by far the largest source, as has been the case in the past years, with 7,395 project applications. During the first application phase (up to EUR 0.07 / kWh) mainly applications for onshore wind and solar have been submitted. The second phase (up to EUR 0.08 / kWh) consisted mainly of applications for solar PV projects submitted its application.  Below you will find an overview of the applications for the different energy sources.

CategoryNo. of applicationsBudget claim (in millions)Capacity (in MW)
Solar7,3952,5134,032
Wind40140125
Geothermal6341146
Biomass gas11606123
Biomass heat / TES29243134
Solar Thermal781537
Hydropower328053
Total7,5624,1374,650

The 2020 spring round was the second time that applicants for SDE+ subsidy were obliged to include a so-called transport indication in their application (i.e. a statement from the grid operator regarding the capacity available on the grid at the envisaged project location). In total Dutch grid operators issued 9,064 positive statements, amounting to 92% of the total request submitted to the grid operators (whereas this percentage was 89% for the 2019 autumn round). The remaining 8% did not receive a positive statement due to capacity shortage on the grid at the envisaged project location. As was the case during the 2019 autumn round, a considerable number of projects that received a positive statement did not actually apply for subsidy. The Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (the “Minister”) did not provide an explanation for this.

Furthermore, the Minister has announced that due to the grid capacity shortage experienced on the Dutch grid and the outbreak of COVID-19 all SDE-projects that have to be realised in 2020 will be granted a one year extension of the realisation deadline upon request. There are two conditions to receiving the one year extension: (1) the delay in realising the project has to lay outside the sphere of influence of the relevant project developer (e.g. no or limited grid capacity available, or a lack of manpower and/or materials due to the outbreak of COVID-19); and (2) the project should reasonably be expected to be realised in 2021. If the project is delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Minister is expecting that a one year extension will be sufficient to make up for lost time. In case the delay is due to shortage on the Dutch grid, the Minister has indicated that several measures will be taken (i.a. abandoning of the redundancy obligation of the high-voltage grid in order to make use of the reserve capacity), which will provide more capacity on short term. However, currently a large number of projects have requested to be connected to the grid and are awaiting approval from the grid operators. It may therefore be argued that it is very well possible that, despite the measures that are taken, for certain projects a one year extension will not suffice. A letter from the Minister to the House of Representatives regarding the measures is expected in the next couple of weeks. 

The results on the SDE+ 2020 spring round are expected end-July 2020. In addition, the first SDE++ round is scheduled to open in September 2020. Please note that, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this may be delayed. Project developers have expressed concerns on meeting this deadline due to the fact that permits have to be acquired in order to apply for the SDE+ 2020. Since government buildings are closed, permits are currently not being granted. As soon as clarity is provided hereon, we will update you accordingly.

Authors

Portrait of Cecilia Weijden
Cecilia van der Weijden
Partner
Amsterdam
Portrait of Maurits Rabbie
Maurits Rabbie
Advocaat
Amsterdam
Portrait of Marcellina Rietvelt
Marcellina Rietvelt
Advocaat
Amsterdam