Energy and Sustainability

The Dutch Cabinet has set itself the ambitious aim of achieving fully renewable energy supply by 2050. However, there is still a long way to go. In December 2015, the Cabinet is due to publish the long-awaited Energy Report. This report will discuss the key dilemmas in the run-up to achieving the government’s ambitions.

The Cabinet has indeed already made a number of advances in this field, for example the drawing up of rules in respect of the use of heat in the Heat Act. In 2016, the Heat Act is due to be evaluated. Also in 2016, the Cabinet will be working on the action points from the Vision on Heat, and examining the adjustments necessary for ensuring further sustainability. New legislation has also been introduced on the energy label and energy index, and new laws are being prepared, on the basis of which it will be possible for landlords and tenants to agree on energy performance payments. All in all, the energy sector is constantly in a state of flux.

The focus on sustainability means more than anything else that the Netherlands must not become overly dependent on fossil fuels. To ensure reliable energy supply in the future, however, fossil-based energy will continue to be necessary. The use of residual heat ties in perfectly with this objective, and is due to become more important in the future.

Developments in practice

These developments are clearly not without consequences in practice. They have for example led to the arrival of various new players on the market, new forms of cooperation between existing businesses and the development of new initiatives, including the establishment of heat and steam networks.

Our expertise

Typical of many of these initiatives is their impact on multiple specialisations and areas of the law. The creation of a heat network, for example, brings with it aspects of public law since government parties are often involved in such a network (government aid, tendering and spatial planning aspects) and elements of civil law (the establishment of the heat company itself and the preparation of agreements with producers and customers). To ensure that these initiatives are also implemented smoothly from a legal viewpoint, knowledge and experience of the market are essential. A helicopter view that takes in all the relevant legal aspects is a fundamental requirement. Our specialists can deliver precisely that knowledge and experience, and will be pleased to offer you the assistance you need.