Homeowners with solar panels will continue to be paid at the same rate for their surplus energy as they are charged on their fuel bills until 2023.
Economics minister Henk Kamp made the decision to extend the guarantee, which was originally due to expire in 2020. It means power companies will have to deduct any excess energy from the total bill on a 1:1 basis.
Kamp said the rule would need to be amended at some stage because the cost to the government increases as more people install solar panels, but left the decision on what to do after 2023 to the incoming government.
Solar energy providers welcomed the decision. ‘He [Kamp] has acknowledged that this market will need to be supported for some time to come,’ said a spokesman for industry body Holland Solar.
In a letter to parliament, Kamp proposed two options for reducing the cost to the public purse. The first is for energy companies to pay a lower rate, determined by the market, for privately generated energy, with the government paying a top-up subsidy.
The second option is a one-off subsidy paid when the solar panels are purchased. The industry favours the first option because they say it would encourage householders to store their solar power in a battery rather than selling it back to the industry.
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