Our world and our climate are changing. Due to the climate change, the need to find and exploit new, sustainable energy sources has become increasingly important. For companies and public authorities, it is not only necessary to respond to new developments, but also especially important to anticipate them. This is what minister Kamp of Economic Affairs envisioned to achieve when he introduced a new tendering scheme earlier this year: the SDE+ scheme.
SDE+: an impetus for sustainable energy
The SDE+ scheme is a grant system intended to bridge the gap between the price of 'grey' and 'green' power by providing a financial impetus to companies that produce sustainable energy. Although there are already many ways of generating renewable energy, companies still tend towards power generated from fossil fuels. The reason that grey power is chosen is because it is often cheaper.
By alleviating the costs, the new grant scheme should make choosing in favour of sustainable energy easier. In addition, this should ensure that the technology already available for the generation of green power is used more often.
There were two tendering rounds in 2016, leading to a competition that resulted in historically low energy rates for renewable energy. According to the minister, this indicates that the costs of generating sustainable energy are decreasing. Offshore wind energy is subject to a separate tender, for which a call for tender will be launched in 2017.
More offshore wind energy in 2023
The minister's plan is in line with the Dutch Agreement on Energy for Sustainable Growth (Nederlands Energieakkoord), which was concluded in 2013 between more than forty organizations. These included public organizations, employers, trade unions, and environmental organizations. In this agreement, they aim for 14% of energy to be generated from renewable sources by the year 2020. There are also European goals aimed at generating 16% as sustainable energy in 2023, with the intention of achieving an offshore wind capacity totaling 4,500 megawatts. The SDE+ scheme plays a large role in achieving these goals.
In anticipation of these developments, Sif recently constructed an assembly and coating hall on Maasvlakte 2. The new facility makes it possible to assemble the parts for foundation piles (monopiles), produced in Roermond on location, and then ship them directly. A monopile forms the foundation for the wind turbine and provides its connection to the ground. Monopiles are becoming increasingly larger as a result of developments in offshore wind energy technology. This means that it is not always possible to transport the poles from Roermond to the coast. However, by assembling and finishing the monopiles at the coast, they are ready to be shipped out to sea directly, reducing transport costs.