Col­lec­tion right for resid­ual heat from data cen­ters and industry in the Col­lect­ive Heat Sup­ply Act


The pro­pos­al for a Col­lect­ive Heat Sup­ply Act (Wet Col­lectieve Warmte­voorzi­en­ing or WCW) stip­u­lates that a resid­ual heat pro­du­cer that dis­charges such heat must make the heat avail­able to a heat com­pany upon request and free of charge (see Art­icle 6 para­graph 1 of the Bill). This oblig­a­tion con­cerns resid­ual heat (unavoid­able thermal energy) that is gen­er­ated as a by-product in the oper­a­tion­al man­age­ment of a com­pany and which, if not fed into a heat net­work, would end up unused in air or water.

Accord­ing to the Explan­at­ory Memor­andum to the pro­posed new Act, it will often con­cern resid­ual heat that is dis­charged into the water, but it may also con­cern a heat dis­charge into the air via, for example, a cool­ing tower or chim­ney.  Examples of resid­ual heat are sur­plus heat from data cen­ters or industry. With the intro­duc­tion of a “heat col­lec­tion right”, the min­is­ter aims to cre­ate an incent­ive that stim­u­lates the use of resid­ual heat and strengthens the nego­ti­at­ing pos­i­tion of heat com­pan­ies. This will give heat com­pan­ies access to resid­ual heat that would oth­er­wise be dis­charged. The heat com­pany must pay the producer’s decoup­ling costs, con­sist­ing of the actu­al costs of the heat pro­du­cer to make the resid­ual heat avail­able to the heat com­pany.

The WCW pub­lic con­sulta­tion was com­pleted in August 2020. The res­ults of this con­sulta­tion were pub­lished on 15 Decem­ber 2020. In the writ­ten answers to par­lia­ment­ary ques­tions pub­lished on 22 April 2021, out­go­ing Min­is­ter Van ‘t Wout of Eco­nom­ic Affairs and Cli­mate indic­ates that he aims to sub­mit the Act to the Coun­cil of State for advice this year, so that the pro­pos­al can be presen­ted to Par­lia­ment by the end of 2021.