Features SDE++ | RVO.nl

Service menu right

Features SDE++


Are you going to produce renewable energy or apply CO2-reducing techniques? If so, you may be eligible for the subsidy Sustainable energy transition (SDE++). This scheme opens 21 Septmber 2021.

The SDE++ scheme has the following characteristics. Some are similar to the former SDE+ scheme, others are new.

Subsidisation of operating shortfall

The SDE++ provides subsidies for the use of techniques for renewable energy and other CO2-reducing techniques. For each technique, the 'operating shortfall' is subsidised. This is the difference between the cost price of the technique that reduces the CO2 (the 'base amount') and the market value of the product giving rise to the technique (the 'correction amount'). The base amount will be fixed for the entire duration of the subsidy, and the correction amount will be determined annually. If the market value rises, the operating shortfall decreases and thus your subsidy decreases as well.

Phased opening

The opening round of the SDE++ is divided into 4 phases. During the first phase, you can only apply for a subsidy for projects with a subsidy requirement up to a certain subsidy amount/tonne of CO2. During the following phases, this maximum subsidy amount/tonne of CO2 is increased step by step. You may also submit projects with a lower subsidy requirement than the maximum set for the technique in question. In this way, market parties are stimulated to submit projects for a lower price and thus have a better chance of obtaining a subsidy.

Subsidy intensity

The ranking of SDE++ applications is determined by the subsidy requirement per tonne of CO2. The maximum subsidy intensity to which SDE++ techniques are entitled in 2021 is € 300 per tonne CO2. Techniques with a higher subsidy intensity can also claim the SDE++, but for these projects the entire operating shortfall may not be reimbursed. For 2020, this concerned the techniques:

  • Electrolytic hydrogen production
  • Aquathermal energy from surface water (TEO)
  • Biomass gasification
  • Osmosis
  • Free flowing energy (<50 cm)
  • Hydropower (> 50 cm)

The stimulation of techniques with a higher subsidy intensity than €300 per tonne CO2 does not fit in with a cost-effective energy transition as envisaged by the SDE++.


The phases within an opening round have a limited duration. Applications received at 17:00 or later will count from the next working day. Thus, a day runs from 17:00 to 17:00 the next working day. This also applies at the start of a new phase. Within one working day, the time of receipt of the grant application does not matter.

On the day that the budget limit is exceeded, SDE++ applications are ranked according to the expected subsidy requirement. This is more in line with the expected subsidy expenditure. This means that more CO2 reduction is achieved with the same subsidy budget.

The ranking method of the SDE++ has changed with respect to that of the SDE+:

  1. Applications are ranked on the basis of the expected subsidy requirement per tonne of CO2.
  2. To allow for comparison of all options, the ranking takes into account the CO2 emission factor for each category of production plant. This concerns the cost per tonne of CO2 emissions avoided. For the techniques that use or generate electricity to reduce CO2, the expected effects on emissions in the electricity sector are taken into account.
The subsidy intensity is calculated on the basis of the following formula: 
base amount* − long-term product price/CO2 emission factor

*The grant applicant may apply for a lower amount than the base amount. In that case, the subsidy intensity is lower and the application has a chance of a higher ranking with a better chance of budget.

European Emissions Trading System (ETS)

The ETS is a market instrument through which the EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively in order to achieve its climate objectives. For most of the new SDE++ categories, the majority of expected projects will take place in companies participating in the ETS. In its calculations, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) assumes that a large proportion of these projects will result in avoided costs with regard to the purchase of ETS allowances. This puts non-ETS participants at a disadvantage. PBL and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency are currently looking at how market parties with and without ETS benefits can obtain a subsidy that is better suited to their situation.