€ 60 million subsidy for construction companies to switch in 2023

More zero emission machines in construction. From next spring on, the construction industry will once again be able to buy emission-free construction equipment, such as excavators and pile drivers, with a subsidy. They can also receive a subsidy for the conversion or adaptation of their equipment from diesel to hydrogen or electric. This is good in the fight against the nitrogen problems that sometimes bring construction to a standstill. And for our health and the environment. The government is allocating a total of 270 million euros for this until 2030.

The new Liebherr A 916 Electric at work on a roundabout in Zeist.
Een elektrische asfaltspreidmachine van KWS Infra aan het werk op de Innovatiestrook A58 bij Oirschot.

Tackling the nitrogen problem

The government wants construction to reduce nitrogen by 60% and reduce CO2 emissions by 0.4 megatonnes by 2030, as laid down in the Nitrogen Approach and the Climate Agreement. This subsidy scheme contributes to this. Almost all nitrogen emissions from construction come from the use of construction vehicles and machines on the construction site. These machines and construction vehicles, of which there are an estimated eighty thousand in the Netherlands, often run on diesel all day, and in addition to nitrogen, also emit particulate matter and greenhouse gases.

Entrepreneurs can recover up to 40% of the additional costs upon purchase. The government wants to provide extra support to SMEs, which is why they can receive up to 50% subsidy. This involves the purchase of new machines and construction vehicles, for example with a battery or on hydrogen. Existing equipment can also be tackled with a subsidy. Think of the conversion from diesel to electric, or the installation of a catalyst that collects substances. A good catalyst can reduce nitrogen emissions by more than 80%. This option is also available for large seagoing construction vessels.

Subsidies are also available for the innovation and development of new techniques. For example, for new heavy emission-free machines such as cranes and large trucks, with the corresponding new loading or refuelling solutions on the construction site.

De in samenwerking met partner Van der Spek Vianen gebouwde volledig elektrisch Hyundai HX85A van Voorbij Funderingstechn9ek aan het werk gezet in de binnenstad van Amsterdam.

Specifically for construction

The government believes it is important that the construction industry is given the opportunity to switch to clean. In this way the construction of houses and construction and maintenance of roads and railways can continue. Therefore, this scheme is specifically designed for equipment used in construction. In 2022 there are 20 million euros available. Builders can also request charging facilities, such as battery containers for the construction site. There is a maximum amount per company and application. Builders must also meet a number of conditions, for example to prevent fraud and rapid resale.

“I think it is important that the construction and infrastructure sector contributes to the objectives of the Climate Agreement and therefore accelerates the transition to zero emission mobile tools /(construction) equipment,” emphasizes Maxime Verhagen, chairman of Bouwend Nederland. “That is why Bouwend Nederland, BMWT and CUMELA are working together with the government on a roadmap that points the way to a completely clean construction.”

Cleaner air

The money for this scheme for construction comes from the broad package of nitrogen measures, which the cabinet announced earlier. The government is also taking numerous measures to help entrepreneurs switch to cleaner alternatives. The knife often cuts on two sides. They help reduce nitrogen problems for building contractors. And they are necessary for nature, clean air and the climate.

For example, there is already a subsidy scheme for electric vans for entrepreneurs, and there will also be a scheme for emission-free trucks in the short term.