The Netherlands will invite tenders for the Hollandse Kust (zuid/south) III & IV offshore wind sites at the end of this year, Eric Wiebes, the country's Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy confirmed, adding that the upcoming process will see some changes despite running under the old regulation.
In a letter to the House of Representatives, Wiebes said that the new regime – currently being set up under an amended Offshore Wind Energy Act – can accommodate a new tender only after both the wind energy sector and the Minister himself have had enough time to adjust to it once it enters into effect, which will not happen until mid-2019, at the earliest.
Running this tender at that time would be a deviation that would adversely affect the costs, since the companies that would bid, as well as the supply chains, have adjusted their internal planning to the current rhythm of an annual tender invited at the end of a year, Eric Wiebes wrote.
"I have come to the conclusion that continuity in the tender agenda is paramount for me. Both in view of the cost development and the timely realisation of the goals of the Energy Agreement and, later on, the Climate Agreement. Therefore, I intend to start the tender for lots III and IV of Hollandse Kust (zuid) this year and under the current legislation," Wiebes said.
The procedure for Hollandse Kust (zuid) III & IV will involve some changes to the selection criteria, compared to the previous tenders.
According to Minister Wiebes, part of this is aimed at further improving the transparency of the process and limiting the risks of objection and appeal procedures, as a response to the objections by two parties against the outcome of the first Hollandse Kust (zuid) tender, won by Vattenfall. These objections have been later withdrawn, after which Vattenfall's licences have become irrevocable.
The regulation for the upcoming tender is currently being further developed and is expected to be published in October. The tender itself will close at the end of January 2019 at the latest, Wiebes stated.
Regarding the bill that aims to set up the Dutch Offshore Wind Energy Act to better respond to the situation in which no subsidy is needed for offshore wind farms, Eric Wiebes said that he had recently received the advice from the Advisory Division of the Council of State and that he will present the bill to the House of Representatives this autumn.
To remind, after the Netherlands completed its first (and the world's first) subsidy-free offshore wind tender at the beginning of this year, Minister Wiebes said that the upcoming tenders would not necessarily follow suit as cost factors and market conditions change, and that this was the reason why he had started the process of amending the Offshore Wind Energy Act.
Offshore WIND Staff