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The Netherlands: New investment opportunities for major wind projects

The Dutch government is currently taking major steps towards the development of large offshore and onshore wind projects. For offshore wind, 3450 MW of power will be put out for tender during the period 2015-2019, divided across ten to twelve projects. The government is offering grants to the tune of € 18 billion.

In addition, work is underway on establishing robust spatial legislation to ensure rapid clarity on the locations of the new projects. This legislative operation should mean that as soon as a grant is awarded for a project, project financing can be secured. The reason for this urgency is that the currently planned projects have to be completed at the latest by 2023.

The guiding principle for this new legislation is that in the lead-up phase, the government will be taking up more of the commercial risk. In the future, the government will undertake the costly studies necessary for any new wind offshore location. On that basis, offshore wind plots will be identified. Market parties can then bid for these wind plots whereby the parties offering to produce electricity at the lowest price will acquire the exclusive right to operate the plot in question. This exclusive right also implies that a grant will be received for an operating period of fifteen years. Both the exclusive operating right and the grant are essential to make the projects financially viable.

On 10 April 2014, Houthoff Buruma, an EACCNY member, organised a breakfast briefing to discuss the new legislation for offshore wind. For more information, please contact Marjolein Dieperink.

Once again last month, another major step was taken in the development of onshore wind projects. The government identified eleven locations for the implementation of large-scale projects (at least 100 MW). This designation of locations is an important initial stage in the awarding of permits and grants for these projects. This stage must first be completed in order to arrive at viable businesses cases. According to expectations, it will therefore become attractive for financiers to invest in large-scale onshore wind projects, in the not too distant future.