The Ministry of Economic Affairs’ energy policy has made a satisfactory contribution to the policy objective in the period 2007-2012, to promote an energy economy that is internationally competitive, reliable, safe and sustainable. his is the main conclusion drawn by the evaluation of energy policy carried out by SEO Amsterdam Economics. The policy review covers all aspects of energy policy, specifically the 2007-2012 period.

The energy policy review focuses on the three so-called operational objectives of Dutch energy policy: (1) an optimal organization and operation of energy markets, (2) security of supply, and (3) a sustainable and safe energy supply. This is the first time that the Ministry of Economic Affairs commissioned an evaluation of energy policy as a whole.

The policy review makes use of existing evaluations of specific aspects of policy, and new evaluations were carried out on various aspects. Where evaluations were already planned the review looked at the broad thrust of the results of the policy.

For each of the three operational objectives the authors conclude that the policy has made a reasonable contribution towards achieving the objectives. The review indicates whether each aspect of policy met the efficiency and effectiveness criteria poorly, moderately, reasonably well or satisfactorily. It was not possible to draw properly informed conclusions on some aspects owing to lack of data. Verdicts were therefore not given on every aspect, especially as regards the efficiency criterion.

The evaluation ends with conclusions and recommendations for future evaluations. For periodic evaluations to be carried out, the policy objectives need to be sufficiently specific and line up with the phasing of those evaluations in terms of timing. For example, sustainable energy policy focuses on long-term objectives for 2020 and later, whereas the policy review examines the effects over 2007-2012, which makes it difficult to operationalize the objectives examined in a policy review.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has sent the policy review to the House of Representatives along with an explanatory final report and a second opinion from the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.