Negative energy price drives loss of Netherlands solar incentives


Dutch enterprise agency the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO), which manages the SDE+ incentive program for large scale renewables, has revealed it will not pay incentives to solar and wind power plants for March 29 because of negative electricity prices.

The state body said prices on the day-ahead wholesale energy market were negative for more than six hours on the Sunday in question. Exceeding the six-hour window triggers non-payment of SDE+ incentives, the RVO said.

The negative prices were triggered by a slump in demand associated with measures imposed by the Dutch government to attempt to restrict the spread of Covid-19.


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That payment clause applies only to larger projects – solar assets with a generation capacity of more than 500 kW and wind farms with more than 3 MW and, in addition, only affects facilities which applied for incentives after December 1, 2015.

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“The electricity that has been fed into the grid by owners of large solar roofs and solar parks during the period of the negative electricity price does not count as eligible production and is therefore not eligible for SDE+ subsidy,” the RVO stated.

The SDE+ program provides payments to bridge any gap between the cost price of generating clean energy – a figure supplied by developers for their facilities – and the day-ahead wholesale electricity price. Payment contracts last eight, 12 or 15 years, depending on the maximum full load hours offered by projects.

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