A highlight of 2013 was the intense involvement of ECN in the formulation of the Energy Agreement (Energieakkoord). The negotiations, led by the SER, lasted 10 months and were very ambitious, right from the start. More than 40 parties participated in the negotiations.
Share of policy advice provided to companies has doubled.
Hectic work weeks
Initially, ECN played a modest role in calculating scenarios. But during the process, increasingly larger responsibilities were assigned to ECN, making it a full-fledged adviser. By the time the negotiations neared their climax in summer, ECN staff members were clocking work weeks of 80 to 100 hours. And with significant results. The Energy Agreement, which was concluded in September, forms the basis for a broad-based, future-proof Dutch energy policy. ECN is proud of its contribution to this.
In December, the Netherlands was the first EU country to report to Brussels on the measures taken to comply with Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive. This Directive requires all EU countries to reduce their end consumption of energy by 1.5 percent annually, over the period between 2014 and 2020. The report was provided by ECN and commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. This was the first time such a complex directive was being applied. ECN had to dig deep for this and once again, the results are impressive. Now it is clear what the requirements are for public sector organisations as well as energy-intensive sectors and companies.
Opportunities for companies
Besides advising public sector organisations, ECN is also providing advice more often to companies on various issues, such as social trends and economic opportunities. In 2013, the share of its task of providing policy advice to companies, as part of its total services, doubled in comparison to the previous year. ECN's clients included energy suppliers, Nissan, Shell and Schiphol Airport.