Skip Navigation Links.

Search for publications:

Limit search to the fields

ECN publication
Dutch energy policies from a European perspective; Major developments in 2003
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 1-4-2004
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-P--04-001 Other
Number of pages: Full text:
68 Download PDF  


ECN is not only active in technological research and development; it also plays a major role in policy research and development. Since national energy policy is increasingly influenced by developments at the European level and vice versa, ECN is shifting its attention from a national to a European focus. More and more, national energy and environmental policies are implemented within the framework of EU directives, while reversibly the success of European policies is dependent on harmonised national actions in a liberalised European energy market.

To demonstrate this shifting research orientation towards a European position ECN decided to highlight four major national topics that dominated policy discussions in the Netherlands during 2003 in this special publication.

  • ┬áThe first topic concerns changes in national renewable energy policy. Earlier policies had led to a dramatic increase in imports of renewable electricity with major fiscal consequences and it was decided to redress the balance towards stimulating domestic investment in renewable energy capacity.
  • In the summer of 2003 extreme weather events led to an electricity supply crisis providing a short-term argument to look into the policy options for preventing shortages. The opportunities and limitations of demand side response to electricity supply shortages is the second topic addressed.
  • Regarding climate change policies the most notable development undoubtedly concerns the impending implementation of a greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme. The focus in this chapter is on the interaction between the EU directive on emissions trading and the Dutch approach.
  • As a relatively small country the Netherlands has always found it difficult to make appropriate energy research and development choices. During 2003 new directions in RD&D policies were determined. Apart from the optimal choice of nationally relevant research priorities, an additional vexing problem concerns the relative amounts of public resources spent for promoting RD&D versus stimulating market deployment. This problem is addressed in the last chapter.

Finally, for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the major facts on the Dutch energy sector, we have added a selection of statistical figures as a general reference source.

We hope that these capita selecta of energy policy developments in the Netherlands provide an appealing impression of the Dutch policy arena in 2003 while at the same time demonstrating the European scope of the policy research at ECN.

Back to List