Green energy incentive scheme for auto-producers

With a roof where solar panels can be installed it’s relatively easy to get your own personal renewable energy project up and running, but otherwise it can be fairly tricky. As the current SDE+ renewable energy incentive scheme does not cater for longer-term projects run by auto-producer cooperatives, the ‘postal code scheme’ was developed, but, as the name indicates, this is restricted in scope to a single postal code district around the installation in question. Besides, there are auto-producers who want to generate green gas or heat rather than electricity.

Against this background, Qurrent asked CE Delft to design a scheme providing an incentive to auto-producers across the Netherlands to realize solar, wind, heat or green gas projects without placing an undue burden on the Treasury. In consultation with Qurrent, CE Delft has designed a scheme to this end that comprises the following elements:

  • Cooperatives producing electricity or gas from renewable energy sources are exempted from the energy tax on electricity and/or the ODE charge on natural gas for a 15-year period.
  • Cooperative members pay an annual contribution for operating the installation producing the amount of electricity or gas consumed by the members, for which they are issued a certificate by the Inland Revenue.
  • The energy tax on natural gas is raised incrementally from € 0.25 to € 0.49 per m3 to make it the same as the energy tax on electricity per kg CO2, thus generating extra revenue to compensate for the reduced energy tax from auto-generation projects. This tax measure will make heat projects more readily profitable and encourage private consumers to find alternatives for natural-gas central heating.

If this scheme is introduced, after 5 years an estimated 650 GWh solar and wind power, 25 million m3 green gas and 5 PJ heat will be produced by over 800,000 consumers.

Under this scheme the Treasury will lose a certain amount of revenue from the energy tax and ODE charge, but will ultimately see an increase in energy-tax revenue because of the higher tax on gas. In addition, outlay on the SDE+ renewable energy incentive scheme can be reduced, or, alternatively, the 16% renewables target be secured sooner than currently foreseen.