Netherlands

Climate target for green electricity regions seems feasible

The goal of meeting three-quarters of the electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030 appears to be achievable. According to new figures, the plans submitted by the thirty energy regions in the Netherlands this year add up to more than sufficient. But to actually implement the plans, there must be enough knowledge, resources and manpower available, says the national bureau of the so-called Regional Energy Strategies (RES).

All plans in the country add up to 55 terawatt hours, considerably more than the 35 TWh that is required. Because plans will also be dropped, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) estimates that between 35 and 46 terawatt hours will ultimately be realized. Compared to previous provisional plans, the energy regions have jointly submitted even more possible renewable energy.

That surprised both organizations. “What nobody expected is that the regions have taken another step after the draft RESs,” says Jan Matthijsen of the PBL. The growth is mainly in solar energy on roofs and solar parks on the ground. However, there are still bottlenecks. For example, the shortage on the electricity grid continues to be a problem, and a court ruling on environmental regulations for wind turbines is also causing delays.

Local owners

But overall, the process is going well. There is “more resistance and more acceptance among the population”, conclude both PBL and the RESs. In the coming years, the planning phase will transition into an implementation phase. It is also important that citizens are really allowed to participate in decision-making and also benefit financially from green energy.

The Climate Agreement for the Netherlands states that the aim should be 50 percent local ownership. “Local ownership is mentioned in all thirty RESs,” says Kristel Lammers of NP RES. “But that does not mean that it has already been realized. Municipalities will have to get started with this seriously.”

Jop Fackeldey, deputy in Flevoland and chairman of the joint provinces on climate and energy, also notes this. “Everyone increasingly understands that it helps enormously for support.” If people are not only bothered by windmills or solar parks, but also benefit financially from it, they appear to have less trouble with it.

Power grid bottleneck

A major bottleneck is the current scarcity on the electricity grid. At the moment, half of all solar plans are canceled because of that grid shortage. But the grid operators have indicated that it will be possible to connect the required 35 terawatt hours in 2030, and there does not appear to be a problem with security of supply for the time being.

A trend that started earlier, that solar energy can count on more support than wind energy, appears to be continuing. This makes the energy transition more expensive and more complicated. The relationship between sun and wind will therefore continue to be discussed in discussions with the energy regions, says Deputy Fackeldey.

Nuclear energy

The question is regularly asked whether nuclear energy can be used to achieve climate goals. Globally, nuclear energy will certainly play a role, the Planning Bureau expects. But that is not obvious in our own country, even if a single nuclear power plant is not excluded. Matthijsen: “The Netherlands has not reserved many places for it, so it will never be able to play a major role.”

Nature and environmental organizations react critically to the new figures. They believe that vulnerable nature is not sufficiently taken into account. For example, in 19 of the RES regions, no careful analysis has been made of the effect of sustainable energy sources on nature and landscape.

Climate target for green electricity regions seems feasible
Source link Climate target for green electricity regions seems feasible

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