Energy Agenda

Phase: Anticipation
  • Access to finance
  • Transition to a climate-neutral economy
  • Fostering innovation
  • Support of companies' growth
Last modified: 29 June, 2021
Projekto pavadinimas::

Stimulering Duurzame Energietransitie (SDE++) and Energie-investeringsaftrek (EIA)

Angliškas pavadinimas:

Stimulating Transition to Sustainable Energy (SDE++) and The Energy Investment Tax (EIA) Credit


The Renewable Energy Grant Scheme (SDE++) is open to companies and non-profit organisations with renewable energy projects in the Netherlands. The Dutch national government cannot take part. Private producers do not qualify for this subsidy as their costs exceed the benefits. This programme covers enterprises from several sectors in their transition towards sustainable energy production and the reduction of CO2 emissions. Enterprises in the industry sector, mobility, electricity, and agriculture are all eligible to use this subsidy.

The EIA covers enterprises investing in energy reduction or renewable energy. It is not eligible for private individuals, associations or foundations. The conditions to qualify for EIA are:

  • To be an entrepreneur in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten or the BES Islands;
  • The enterprise pays income tax or company tax;
  • Company's investment is included in the Energy List (referred to as ‘company resources’);
  • The company resource meets the requirements for the Energy List;
  • The company resource has not been used before;
  • The company resource is reported on time (main rule: within 3 months after the order to supply).

Main characteristics

The Energy Agenda, a government strategy aimed at cutting carbon emission by 2050, will introduce temporary additional policies covering all sectors of the economy aimed at supporting a gradual reduction in CO2 emissions of 80-95% by 2050. These policies will consist of a mixture of incentives and regulatory standards and obligations grouped into so-called 'transition paths'. In the Energy Agenda, these transition paths are drawn for the four functionalities (power and light, high temperature heat, low temperature heat and transport) on a general basis. Based on these guidelines, and taking into account their costs, the government will begin a consultation process with citizens, business, research institutions, civil society organisations and local authorities that will ultimately lead to a joint determination of ambitions and further transition paths (more elaborately detailed, and organised by functionality) for the period up to 2050.

The three phases of the agenda's implementation are:
•    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.

Two incentive schemes are available for businesses:
•    The Renewable Energy Grant Scheme (SDE+) 
•    The Energy Investment Tax Credit (though this existed some time before the Energy Agenda and is not tied to the agenda).

 The Renewable Energy Grant Scheme (SDE++) 
The SDE++ is a subsidy for enterprises who wish to start producing energy more sustainably or who wish to reduce their CO2 output. In this sense, the SDE++ is broader and farther reaching than its predecessor programme, the SDE+ as this latter version also covers CO2 emissions. The SDE++ has several main categories or areas of activity and within each category offers several specific subsidy types. The main categories include: renewable energy, renewable heat (energy), renewable gas, CO2 reducing heat production, and CO2 reducing production methods. To illustrate the sub-categories for which subsidies may be granted, for renewable energy these include water power, wind, solar energy, and water. 

Financial compensation is provided to energy producers for the renewable energy they generate. In some cases renewable energy  does not guarantee a profit since the cost of producing energy is higher than the energy market price. This measure provides for compensation for the share of unprofitable energy produced while taking into account the technology being used.

SDE++ is applicable to renewable energy produced for:

  • electricity;
  • gas;
  • heat;
  • heat and electricity combined.

For some installations producing energy with biomass, there is a system of controls in place to ensure that it meets criteria for sustainability.

The 2020 SDE++ spring application round is open from 29 September to 22 October 2020, and has a total budget of €5 billion for the year. Organisations which receive a subsidy will have this paid out across 12 to 15 years, with the exact length of time depending on the nature of the technology being used.

The Energy Investment Tax (EIA) Credit 
The EIA is a scheme for companies to gain tax credit on their investments in energy savings techniques and approaches to producing sustainable energy. The scheme allows enterprises to deduct 11%  tax on those investments and on top of this, an enterprise can deduct up to 45% of taxes on any profits generated through such energy savings or renewable energy activities. In 2020 the budget for this scheme is €147 million. These investments are described as ‘company resources' on an Energy List, which contains 7 categories of resources which fall under the EIA Credit. The categories are:

  • Business buildings;
  • Processes;
  • Means of transport;
  • Sustainable energy;
  • Energy balancing;
  • Energy transition;
  • Energy advice.

The list is revised on an annual basis and published on the website of the Dutch Enterprise Agency (the RVO), through which the subsidy is implemented (


  • National funds

Involved actors

National government


An assessment run by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) found that for wind, sun and geothermal technology  there was a decrease in basic amounts compared to 2019. Therefore the cost-effectiveness of these techniques has improved and there is less need for subsidies of these categories.

In 2018 the EIA was evaluated by a knowledge institute affiliated with the technical University of Delft. The evaluation examined the EIA from 2012 to 2017 and found that in this period, the EIA supported the investment of €4.4 billion in energy savings and renewable energy. The energy saved in this period is estimated to be between 21 and 27 pj (peta joules). The aim is to have saved 100pj by 2020 and hence there is some progress to be made still. In contributing to energy savings, the EIA also contributes to reductions in CO2 emissions; namely an annual reduction of 0.7 to 1.5 mega tonnes of CO2 emissions.


A strength of the SDE+ and now the SDE++ is that it offers a long term subsidy across several areas of renewable energy production as well as CO2 emissions. This breadth of aspects for subsidy are still centralised within one programme which allows for a certain administrative efficiency. Furthermore, the subsidy incentivises the movement towards other means of production, transitions which are not economically attractive to organisations without such a financial incentive. In this way the Netherlands hopes to move towards its Energy Agenda and Climate Accord goals.


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