Dutch biomass subsidy opens in March
OREANDA-NEWS. Coal plants in the Netherlands will be able to apply for the SDE+ Dutch renewable energy scheme in the March round of applications, economy minister Henk Kamp said today.
The decision goes against a motion passed by parliament earlier this month which delayed the possibility for biomass co-firing projects to apply for the scheme until at least the second round which had been planned for September.
A motion raised by Dutch Labour member of parliament Jan Vos was adopted in the Dutch House of Representatives in February this year, blocking coal plants planning to co-fire with biomass from applying in March's SDE+ round. The motion was passed amid concerns over the lack of a clear plan for the phase-out of coal plants, following a motion passed in November that called for the phase-out.
The postponement of applications from coal plants wanting to co-fire with biomass would mean the Netherlands would be at risk of not achieving the full planned 25PJ of renewable energy from biomass, Kamp said in a letter to the Dutch president. This would mean the Netherlands would not achieve the goals set out in its Energy Agreement and fail to meet the European requirement to achieve 14pc renewable energy by 2020. There is no realistic alternative to the 25PJ of renewable energy that will be produced through co-firing, he said.
Kamp has given assurances that he will take measures to prevent the closure of coal plants throughout the eight year planned duration of the SDE+ scheme. With those measures in place the government believes that the concerns set forth in Vos' motion that opening the SDE+ to biomass co-firing would hinder decisions on the phase-out of coal plants are now resolved.
To give coal plants time to prepare their applications, the first round of the SDE+ scheme will be opened on 22 March, pushed back from 1 March, and the second round will be delayed until October.