New Dutch cabinet opts for ambtious green growth strategy

In addition to severe budget cuts, the nwe Dutch Rutte II Cabinet has fortunately also opted for ‘a realistic, ambitious green growth strategy’. This allows us to seize opportunities in the global market for new energy technologies, which is already worth over 250 billion dollar and is still growing rapidly. Three items in the coalition agreement are positive for the transition to a sustainable energy system.

  • First of all, the ambition levels have increased. The Dutch government has decided to increase the sustainable energy share from 14 per cent to 16 per cent in 2020. Internationally, it aims for a fully sustainable energy system in 2050. To this end, 2.4 billion euro will be made available structurally. ECN calculations have indicated that this may suffice to realise the 2020 ambition. The ambition calls for a balanced development of sustainable heat, green gas and renewable electricity. It also requires creation of the proper preconditions for biomass combustion in coal plants and for additional wind energy. Particularly the offshore wind projects will require a strong growth.
  • Secondly, the ambitions are supported by a number of concrete measures. For example, the incentivisation scheme for renewable energy production (SDE+) will be continued, possibly combined with a supplier’s obligation. Energy saving is encouraged through the Green Deal. Small-scale sustainable generation of (solar) energy is also encouraged. For offshore wind, explorations will be conducted together with grid operators to find out how the required electricity infrastructure can be realised. Biomass reuse for multiple applications (cascading) will be implemented for high-value  deployment of  biomass.
  • The third main item is the continuance of the top sector policy. The Dutch government acknowledges that our country and its innovative businesses and ‘excellent knowledge institutes’ has a superb starting point to anchor and strengthen its position in the top-5 of most competitive economies in the coming years. In the past six months, innovation contracts have been realised between businesses, knowledge institutes and the Dutch government. This is also true for the top sector energy, where much effort is put in innovations in the fields of offshore wind energy, solar energy, bio-based economy, smart grids and energy saving in industry and in buildings.

Perhaps you are involved in one of those innovative businesses that aim to increase their turnover in this growing market.  ECN belongs to the excellent knowledge institutes. The cabinet has high expectations of us. And rightfully so, if you ask me. ECN is increasingly collaborating with businesses, particularly with small and medium-sized enterprises. Let us meet and discuss the ambitious growth strategy that this new cabinet aims to realise.

Robert Kleiburg is Chief Operations Officer at ECN.