Netherlands’ Subsidy Programme Expands the Market
 Netherlands’ Subsidy Programme Expands the Market

Netherlands’ Subsidy Programme Expands the Market

Since 2006, the solar thermal market in the Netherlands has enjoyed an annual growth rate of 20 – 30%. The currently biggest pieces of the pie go to glycol-drainback solar combination systems (<6 m²). The new incentive programme “Duurzame Warmte” (Sustainable Warmth programme) now offers an even greater opportunity for solar thermal installations. As Arthur de Vries, secretary of the association Holland Solar, said: “We expect this market instrument to be a decisive factor in quickly expanding the market for households.”

The 3-year programme for Dutch homeowners started in 2008 and states three subsequent periods, of which the first began in September 2008, and will run until 31 August 2009. The programme encompasses solar water heater (SWH) systems and heat pumps. Only buildings built before 1 January 2008 are eligible for it. SenterNovem is the agency responsible for the programme’s EUR 20 million budget. EUR 16 million of it are designated for SWHs, but only EUR 4,972,934 have been spent on household requests so far. This translates into approximately 8,000 households which made use of the SWH substitute programme. A household can get EUR 200 per 278 kWh (1 GJ) in the first substitution period, when investing in a small system (< 6 m²) which is NEN – EN 12976 certified. For bigger systems, the amount goes up to EUR 180 per 278 kWh (1 GJ). The programme is therefore able to accommodate approximately 55,000 more systems than have been installed thus far.

The Dutch solar market always relied on larger projects in newly built housing estates in the past. The present Durable Warmth Programme is a very important instrument to develop new markets for existing buildings in the future, as being the most promising market segment in the long run.

The Netherlands government supports the expansion of solar thermal resources. The Energy Investment Allowance (EIA) programme for entrepreneurs has been one of the most efficient programmes for the promotion of renewable energies since 1997. Each year, the EIA programme is adjusted to new demands of the renewable energy markets. The allowance is a fiscal solution for entrepreneurs who have to pay tax (income and corporate) in the Netherlands.

Entrepreneurs who invest in renewable energy can deduct 44 % of the investment costs of the renewable energy application from their total taxes. Not only will their energy consumption and expenses decrease as a result, but also their tax payments. The ministries of finance and economic affairs are responsible for the scheme; the Belastingsdienst (Dutch tax authorities) and SenterNovem (agency of the Dutch ministry of economic affairs) are the authorities implementing it. To benefit from the EIA, the renewable energy asset must be reported to the IRWA (Bureau for investment schemes and arbitrary depreciation) within 3 months after the purchase date. It also requires a statement from the minister of economic affairs and a minimum investment of EUR 2,200 per calendar year. The maximum amount of money spent on these incentives is to be 44% of the EIA budget, which amounts to EUR 113 million (find out more about the programme in the database of incentive programmes).

More Information:

The text was written by communication specialist Hanna Schober, based in South Africa.


Country / region  The Netherlands
Name of programme  Duurzame Warmte
Type of incentive  Performance-based rebate for homeowners who retrofit their homes with renewable energy systems
Eligible technologies  Solar water heaters, heat pumps, and micro-generators
Applicable sectors  Residential sector
Amount  Depends on the size of the system:
EUR 200 per 278 kWh
EUR 180 per 278 kWh
(paid as a whole several weeks after the installation)
Maximum incentive  The maximum incentive depends on the investment costs, therefore differing from applicant to applicant
Requirements for system  System must be NEN – EN 12976 certifiedSenterNovem approves systems below 6 m2. Their output is standardized and simulated on the base of test results (find a list of approved system suppliers on
SenterNovem also simulates systems larger than 6 m2, but only individually
Requirements for installation  The house must have been built before 1 January 2008 to get an incentive
Finance provider 


Total funds  EUR 16 million for solar thermal
Effective date  2008
Expiration date  31.12.2011
Last review of this tabloid  January 2011
Contact Helpdesk SenterNovem EIA
Postbus 10073,
8000 GB Zwolle
Tel: +31/38/455-3430
Fax: +31/38/454-0225



Baerbel Epp

Bärbel Epp is Founder and Director of the German communication and market research agency solrico and editor-in-chief of