Central government encourages sustainable energy

By 2050, Dutch central government wants to reduce the Netherlands' emissions of greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide (CO2)) to zero.  It plans to make 16% of all energy used in the Netherlands sustainable by 2023. This is outlined in the Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth that the government made with 40 groups, including employers, trade unions and environmental organisations. The Energy Agenda sets targets for the years up to 2050.

Low-carbon energy sources

Government is working to achieve a low-carbon energy supply by 2050 that will be safe, reliable and affordable. The following energy forms are low in CO2 emissions:

  • solar energy
  • onshore wind energy
  • offshore wind energy
  • biomass energy
  • geothermal heat
  • hydropower.

The Energy Agenda: taking steps towards sustainable energy

The switch to sustainable energy will take place in stages:

  • 14% sustainable energy by 2020
  • 16% sustainable energy by 2023
  • Almost 100% sustainable energy by 2050. CO2 emissions should be 80% to 95% lower than in 1990.

This is laid down in the Energy Agenda, which sets out a roadmap to 2050.

Energy agreements: an overview

This timeline shows all the main energy agreements made by the government.

Grants for business investment in sustainable energy

Government sees the business community as a key partner in achieving a low-carbon energy supply. So it is offering incentives to businesses to invest in sustainable energy. For instance:

  • The Renewable Energy Grant Scheme (SDE+) for large energy projects using geothermal heat and solar parks.
  • Renewable energy grants for smart technologies that combine production and storage or contribute to smart grids.

  • The Energy Investment Tax Credit for a range of energy-efficient, environmentally friendly technologies.

  • Sustainable energy investment grants (ISDE) for heat pumps, solar water heating systems, biomass boilers and pellet stoves.

Government supports energy innovation

Developing new technologies makes Dutch companies more competitive internationally. Investment in sustainable energy production and energy efficiency creates new jobs. So government supports companies that develop new sustainable energy technologies like electric vehicles and energy-neutral buildings.

Since energy is one of the main economic sectors in the Netherlands, it has been chosen as a ‘top sector’. The top sector's goal is to cut carbon emissions and use renewable energy sources more efficiently. Demand for energy, especially sustainable energy, is growing. This creates new opportunities in energy production, transport and trade.