Netherlands subsidizes record number of sustainable energy projects

Solar Farm (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Thomas R Machnitzki). (Solar Farm (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Thomas R Machnitzki))

In the first half of this year the Dutch government gave subsidies to a record number of over 4,500 renewable energy projects, the Ministry of Economic Affairs reported on Monday. The subsidies involved a total of over 5.8 billion euros, ANP reports.

Compared to the second half of last year, the number of renewable energy projects more than doubled. Then only 2,200 projects received support from the sustainable energy stimulation regulation SDE+. In the first half of last year, it was only 986 projects. 

Solar power projects received the most money in subsidies in the first half of this year. Nearly 4,400 subsidies worth over 2.8 billion euros went to projects that generate electricity with solar panes. Wind energy on land came in second place, with 2.2 billion euros going to 68 projects. 

The SDE+ is the main resource for the government to achieve the target of 14 percent of the Netherlands' energy being sustainable by 2020 and 16 percent by 2023, ANP reports. According to Minster Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs, the subsidies granted in the first half of the year will bring the Netherlands 1.1 percentage points closer to that goal. 

Since 2008 the Dutch government subsidized 29,500 sustainable energy projects, according to Kamp. Of these, 24 percent are done, 62 percent are still under development and 14 percent proved unreachable.