Dutch Senate Dismisses ‘Stroom’ Bill, Offshore Wind Construction Delayed

The Dutch Senate’s vote against the new electricity and gas legislation yesterday evening is expected to delay the construction of new offshore wind farms by at least six months, according to Dutch minister of economic affairs Henk Kamp. 

Henk Kamp, Minister of Economic Affairs (Photo: Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs)

“What you have achieved is to create a big problem for offshore wind,” the Dutch media quoted Minister Kamp as telling the Senate yesterday. Kamp had added that not only will the construction of wind farms run with a half-year delay, but also the quality will be lower and the price will be higher.

The decisive part of the “Stroom” bill that pushed the Senate to dismiss it was not the one referring to the offshore grid for the connection of offshore wind farms, but the part proposing mandatory unbundling of energy companies. According to Minister Kamp, the bill would have ensured that the electricity is delivered even if the energy companies should ever face financial difficulties.

However, separating the energy producers and power distributors is already being imposed by the current law, despite strong opposition from  energy companies Eneco and Delta. The law sees energy generation and production as a commercial business, while power distribution should be in public hands. The two companies fear they might be taken over by larger foreign companies if their business is split. In July, Eneco announced it will no longer invest in renewable energy projects due to the mandatory unbundling.

Offshore WIND Staff