The subsidy scheme EPR (Energy Premium Scheme) expired at the end of 2003. The scheme subsidised buyers of solar panels. The costs depended on the number of applicants. In 2003, the huge number of applicants resulted in a massive budget overrun. The EPR was subsequently abolished (preceded by an avalanche of last-minute applications).
On 1 April 2008, the Energy Incentive Scheme (SDE) was introduced. This arrangement does not subsidise solar electricity systems, but merely the generation of solar electricity, as solar electricity is more expensive for the average consumer than conventionally generated electricity. The SDE compensates for the difference.
To prevent the budget from being overrun again, the SDE is limited. In 2008, the limit for new applications is set at 46 million euro. This amount suffices to subsidise solar panels to generate 10 MW for the next 15 years.