The Budget Memorandum for 2024 has been presented. The energy sector wants to make progress, but lacks the focus on feasible implementation of plans that quickly reduce CO2 emissions. The 2030 climate goals are just around the corner, and speed is desperately needed.
Accelerate permit procedures, strengthen infrastructure (electricity grids, hydrogen, CO2 storage), make smart use of existing electricity grids, abolish the netting scheme, accelerate gas extraction in the North Sea and set a concrete goal for electrification in industry. Ensure that laws are written and adopted so that infrastructure is constructed quickly. That is the most important message from the energy industry for The Hague.
Chairperson Cora van Nieuwenhuizen: “Ministeries do not build wind farms, companies do that. But it must be attractive for parties to invest in sustainability. Speed and concrete implementation are necessary to achieve the goals.”
Energie-Nederland would like to clarify a number of topics from the Budget Memorandum:
Energie-Nederland, branch association of energy companies, is pleased that the government is continuing the Emergency Fund. The energy sector advocated for this earlier this year. The government is adding €40 million to the €20 million already promised from a number of energy suppliers. They are once again prepared to take their social responsibility in this issue. Households with a relatively high energy consumption and low income can apply to make use of this Emergency Fund next year. The dampening effect of the price ceiling that ends on January 1, 2024 will then be over.
Chairperson Cora van Nieuwenhuizen: “I am happy that the cabinet has taken our call seriously and that together we can provide support to vulnerable households with this Emergency Fund. We are going to make good agreements with the government so that the counter can open from January 1.”
Energie-Nederland calls on the political parties that will form a government after the elections to take structural measures. At least for the period needed to make homes more sustainable. Insulation largely determines the amount of the monthly energy bill.
Grid congestion is the bottleneck for the energy transition. The electricity grid is overcrowded. There has been a lack of result agreements for some time when it comes to the required network reinforcement and expansion. A concrete plan of attack is needed. The situation requires unorthodox measures, such as a radical revision of procedures and licensing processes and the setting up of a crisis team with a mandate to implement the attack plan. At the same time, the existing grid infrastructure must be used as smartly as possible and its management must be done more intelligently. And: users are willing to help relieve the grid, but they must be offered the right contracts and conditions.
Hydrogen is the future. Energie-Nederland calls on the government, in addition to allocating additional budgets, to take the step of making concrete plans with a focus on implementation and execution. The government must provide clarity about the planning and scope of tenders, including locations, the required permits and connections to electricity and hydrogen infrastructure. The government must take control and break the chicken-egg impasse: build infrastructure and not wait until users are ready for it.
The energy tax for 2024 on electricity is approximately a factor of 2 higher than that on natural gas. That is undesirable. Energie-Nederland calls for this to be further equalized in order to encourage the switch to a (hybrid) heat pump and/or heat network.
Unfortunately, Energie-Nederland sees that the government wants to impose double taxes on electricity. This concerns a tax on the gas that goes into a gas-fired power plant, but also on the electricity that leaves the power plant. This double taxation will have unintended effects: Dutch gas-fired power stations are thus disadvantaged compared to often less sustainable power stations abroad. That does not help the climate. Energie-Nederland calls for preventing ineffective double taxes on energy by maintaining the input exemption.