Solar power in the Netherlands is largely in non-Dutch hands

Inflation hit 1.4% in 2017 after three years of marginal gains, says CBS

Companies from Germany, Scandinavia, Britain and China are building most of the large-scale solar power farms in the Netherlands, project developers and subsidy consultants have told the Financieele Dagblad. The foreign solar panel park developers are partly attracted to the Netherlands because of the substantial subsidies for the projects, the paper said. Billions of euros are available every year. 'More than a third of the funds available in subsidies for solar power farms goes to non-Dutch companies,' said Douwe Faber of consultancy Ekwadraat. The Netherlands, he said, has waited too long to develop its solar power strategy and little expertise was developed in building solar farms in the Netherlands as a result. Among the foreign-owned projects currently underway: Norway's Statskraft is developing a 17-hectare solar farm in Emmen and China's Unisun is building its first Dutch solar energy farm in Rilland, Zeeland province. In addition, the Danish investor in sustainable energy Obton announced plans in November to invest €100m a year to develop solar energy projects in the Netherlands over the next few years. All these projects are eligible for subsidies of around €100m, the paper said.  More >

Lelystad airport opening delayed to 2020

Inflation hit 1.4% in 2017 after three years of marginal gains, says CBS Transport minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen is poised to announce a further delay in the expansion of Lelystad airport into commercial flights, RTL Nieuws said on Wednesday. Lelystad should be open to charter holiday flights from next year, but that will now be pushed back until 2020, the broadcaster said. The minister is said to want more time to deal with the complex procedures surrounding the change in the airport's use, which is opposed by locals and people living under the potential flight paths. Lelystad is being expanded to reduce the pressure on Schiphol airport which will focus on intercontinental flights and transit passengers. But the expansion plans have led to major protests by people who will be affected by low-flying planes. In addition, last year it emerged that the noise calculations for local residents were wrong and that people will suffer far more aircraft nuisance than expected.  More >

NXP shares rise after better Qualcom bid

Inflation hit 1.4% in 2017 after three years of marginal gains, says CBS Shares in big Dutch chips maker NXP shot up by 5% on the US technology exchange Nasdaq on Tuesday after its US peer Qualcomm raised its bid for the company to €43bn from €39bn. Qualcomm lost only 1.3% in Nasdaq trading after the sweetened bid was announced, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday. About six months ago the US chip maker was bidding $110 a share for NXP, valuing it at €39bn. NXP found that price too low but now NXP's nine largest shareholders - including activist shareholder Elliott Management, agree with the latest offer, Qualcomm said. If NXP shareholders can be persuaded to sell their shares, the transaction will be one of the largest-ever in the Netherlands. NXP has a worldwide payroll of 33,000, of whom 2,500 are located in the Netherlands in units at Eindhoven and Nijmegen. Qualcomm first brought out a bid for NXP in October 2016. Both NXP and Qualcomm have developed important innovative technologies used in mobile phones. NXP was part of Dutch electronics giant Philips until 2006. The European Commission approved the transaction beteen Qualcom and NXP in January.  More >

KLM splits record earnings with staff

Inflation hit 1.4% in 2017 after three years of marginal gains, says CBS Dutch flag carrier KLM is allocating €170m of its record €910m 2017 net earnings to its 30,000 employees. This is the third consecutive year that KLM has operated a profit-sharing scheme, online news service said on Wednesday. The improved profit-sharing scheme is part of the collective labour agreement agreed in 2015. 'Many initiatives have been taken in recent years to make KLM once again a fit and healthy company and we are seeing this in our results,' KLM president Pieter Elbers is quoted as saying. 'All our employees have worked very hard in the past year and contributed to the recovery of KLM.  I am very proud of what we have attained together.' KLM carried a record 32.7 million passengers last year, a 7.5% increase over 2016. The operational margin rose to 8.8% from 6.9%, an increase of €229m.  More >

Petten nuclear plant clean-up costs soar

Inflation hit 1.4% in 2017 after three years of marginal gains, says CBS The Dutch cabinet is allocating an extra €117m to clean up nuclear waste at its Petten reactor, minister Carola Schouten told MPs on Tuesday. The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ERN) at Petten currently supplies 60% of European demand for medical radio isotopes used to treat cancer and heart disease. The nuclear waste which has to be cleaned up came from other activities at Petten in the past. The new funds will be used to to transfer the barrels filled with radioactive waste to the central nuclear storage facility at the Borssele nuclear power station in Zeeland province. The state has already spent some €200m to resolve the waste situation at Petten.   More >