Wind energy for a sustainable business

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO

Wind energy is one of the most efficient forms of sustainable energy. That is why it can be interesting for your company to invest in it. For example, by placing a windmill on your business premises. Or by developing a wind farm. Read about the available subsidies and the rules.

What is wind energy?

Wind energy is electricity generated by a wind turbine or windmill. It is a clean form of energy with low CO2 emissions. How much electricity a wind turbine generates depends on the:

  • height of the turbine
  • size of the rotor blades (the mill blades)
  • wind speed

Most wind energy is generated in wind farms. You can invest in wind farms alone or together with others. It might also be possible to place one or more wind turbines at your business premises.

Install a wind turbine at your business premises

Do you want to place a windmill or turbine on your business premises? For example, a turbine of 10 to 30 metres can easily generate 30,000 kWh of electricity per year. There are also mini wind turbines, which you can place on the roof of your company building, for example. But that means you will not earn back your investment as quickly. The environmental benefit is also less.

Use, store, or return energy

You can use the electricity you generate with your wind turbine yourself and/or store it in a battery. You can also choose to supply the generated electricity to your energy supplier. They will then offset this against the energy you use. To supply energy you must register your wind turbine with your grid operator on (in Dutch).

Are you supplying more energy than you use? Then your supplier pays you a fee for the surplus. This is called the netting arrangement (salderingsregeling). This scheme only applies if you have a small consumer connection of a maximum of 3x80 amps. The scheme will run at least until 1 January 2025. After that, the government plans to phase out the scheme, step by step, until 2031.

Read more about netting and returning (in Dutch) on the website of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets.

Environmental management permit or notification

To place one or more wind turbines on your business premises, you sometimes need a permit or you have to file an environmental management report (melding milieubeheer). Ask your municipality what the rules and conditions are.

Investing in a wind farm

If you want to invest in wind energy on a larger scale, you could consider setting up a wind farm. You can place larger wind turbines in it, which generate much more energy. You can develop a wind farm yourself. Or together with other companies, citizens, and/or landowners. For example in an energy cooperative (in Dutch).

Steps for the development of a wind farm

The process of building a wind farm takes time and requires research. You take the following steps:

The process begins with a preliminary exploration (in Dutch). This includes looking for a suitable location. Ask your province or municipality about the possibilities. They have designated suitable areas within the Regional Energy Strategy (RES). Also examine the economic feasibility of the project.

You supply the electricity you generate with your wind turbines to the electricity grid. But that does need to have enough capacity. Check this with the network operator of the chosen location in advance. You can find the network operator in the EAN code book (in Dutch).

Once you have found a suitable location, you usually have to prepare an environmental impact assessment (milieu effect rapport, MER). In it, you describe the effects of the wind farm on the environment. The MER is required if you want to obtain an environmental permit. This is usually mandatory. Sometimes you also need other permits (in Dutch). You can check this with your municipality.

Once you have obtained the permits, you can apply for a subsidy. Read more about this below, under 'Subsidies for wind turbines and wind farms'. Once the financing has been completed, you can start with the realisation and operation of the wind farm (in Dutch).

Rules for wind turbines and wind farms

Wind turbines and wind farms can cause nuisance to nature and local residents. That is why rules apply to wind turbines and wind farms. These may differ per municipality. The rules include:

Subsidies for wind turbines and wind farms

Various subsidies are available for buying or using (operating) wind turbines. You can also borrow money at a lower interest rate.

You can apply for the sustainable energy investment subsidy (investeringssubsidie duurzame energie en energiebesparing, ISDE) if you invest in wind turbines on a small scale. You will then be reimbursed for part of the purchase costs of one or more wind turbines. Important conditions are:

  • You connect the wind turbines to the electricity grid with a small consumer connection of a maximum of 3x80 amps.
  • Each wind turbine has a minimum rotor area of 50 m2.
  • You apply for an environmental permit before applying for the subsidy.

View all conditions for the ISDE (in Dutch).

Are you investing in a wind farm on a larger scale? Then you can apply for the sustainable energy transition subsidy scheme (stimulering duurzame energietransitie, SDE++). You will then receive a monthly subsidy for the energy you generate for 15 years. Important conditions are:

  • The wind farm is on land, on a flood defence, or in a lake (not at sea).
  • You connect the wind turbines to the electricity grid with a large-scale consumer connection of more than 3x80 amps.
  • You have the permits required for the wind farm.

The scheme is open to applications several times a year. View the general conditions for the SDE++ and the conditions for the SDE++ for wind energy (in Dutch).

Do you want to invest in wind turbines together with other companies or citizens? Then you can apply for the subsidy scheme for cooperative energy generation (subsidieregeling coöperatieve energieopwekking, SCE). This subsidy is for energy cooperatives that want to develop a wind farm. The members of the cooperative must be located within the same postcode area.

View all conditions for the SCE (in Dutch).

If you need a loan for your wind turbines, you can make use of the green projects scheme. You then apply for a loan from a bank with a green fund (in Dutch). You pay a lower interest for this than you would for a normal loan. Your project plan must, however, meet a number of conditions (in Dutch). Only then can the bank apply for the mandatory green certificate (Groenverklaring, in Dutch) for you.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact theNetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO