Vision on achieving a major share of renewables

This report contains the joint recommendations of environmental NGOs, trades unions and energy companies for a future stimulus package for renewable electricity. What all these parties would like to see is a major role for renewable power by the year 2020. The recommendations have been underwritten by the Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment (Stichting Natuur and Milieu), Energy Ned, Nuon, Esent, Eneco, Greenchoice, Greenpeace, the Dutch umbrella organisation on renewable energy and the trades union ABVAKABO FNV, and were facilitated by CE Delft. The resultant document represents a bridge between Green4sure – the energy plan put forward by the environmental NGOs and trades unions – and the Energy Agenda 2030 proposed by the energy sector.

The parties argue for a stable set of market instruments to structurally bridge the gap in cost price between renewable and conventional electricity. In 2020 renewable technologies will still be more expensive than their conventional counterparts. Although the current ‘SDE’ scheme forms a good policy tool for bridging this cost-price differential (the so-called ‘inefficient top’) in the coming years, it needs to be improved in two important ways. In the first place it is essential that long-term political commitment be formally laid down for the investments associated with securing the targets. The second area requiring improvement according to the parties is that the funding mechanism for the SDE should be via the electricity price rather than coming from the national budget.

To stimulate renewable energy production from 2015 onwards, the organisations argue for introduction of an EU-wide commitment by a ‘frontrunner group’, possibly including the UK, Poland, Sweden and Belgium. The aim of such a move would be to introduce an ‘escalator’ under which member states are obliged to annually increase the share of renewables used in meeting national electricity demand. Such a scheme would be tied to a number of solid conditions, including a well-functioning system of ‘green certificates’ for use among participating countries.