Market mechanism and HBEs

In the Netherlands, a market mechanisme is used to implement the targets to increase the share of renewable energy used in the transport sector and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

At the heart of the Energy for Transport system is a market mechanism based on renewable energy units (hernieuwbare brandstofeenheden, HBEs). Both the annual obligation and the reduction obligation are expressed as a required number of HBEs.

In order to comply, companies subject to an obligation must ensure they hold sufficient HBEs in their account in the Energy for Transport Registry before 1 May of each year.

Companies that physically deliver renewable energy to the transport sector can register those deliveries in the REV, thereby generating HBEs. One HBE held in an REV account represents 1 gigajoule of renewable energy used, as well as a specific reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the level of which is set each year. One HBE held in an account therefore represents a contribution towards to both the mandatory use of renewable energy and the reduction obligation.

The following options are open to companies that are subject to both the annual obligation and the reduction obligation:

  • the company delivers renewable energy and registers this in the REV to obtain HBEs and uses the HBEs to fulfil its own obligation; or
  • it purchases HBEs from other companies; or
  • it can use a combination of both options. 

Under the Energy for Transport implementation system, the Dutch government applies an emissions trading system through which participants can jointly deliver their mandatory share of renewable energy, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the most cost-effective way.

Companies with an REV account can transfer HBEs among each other. All companies subject to an obligation, companies registering deliveries, and other licensed excise warehouse keepers can have an account in the REV

Companies must make mutual agreements among themselves on the trade of HBEs, regarding the prices and types of HBEs. This happens outside the REV, without involvement of the NEa.


Participants in the Energy for Transport system