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The Netherlands Can’t Afford To Keep Its Natural Gas Promise

By Vanand Meliksetian – Jul 03, 2018, 3:00 PM CDT

The Netherlands has been the source of cheap energy for northwest Europe for the past decades. The discovery of the Groningen gas field, the 9th largest in the world, provided a reliable source of energy in a period when the oil market was rocked by embargos due to the Yom Kippur War in 1973. The future of the Dutch gas sector, however, looks bleak due to two important developments in 2018: a political decision to reduce production with a timeline to stop entirely until 2030 and a new climate agreement. The Netherlands is preparing to make major changes regarding the role of gas in people’s lives.

Massive extraction of natural gas over the course of decades has caused earth tremors that have led to a strong opposition to the energy source within the country. The tremors created dangerous situations for houses in the Netherlands and, after years of demonstrations and discussions, the Dutch government decided in March 2018 to wind down production over a 12 year period until it is stopped entirely in 2030.

The second nail in the coffin of the Netherland’s gas sector is the recent climate agreement between environmental organizations, industry, and policymakers. The accord provides a decisive instruction for the energy sector: all coal power plants will be closed by 2030 and gas will not be a part of the energy mix in 2050. However, some room for nuclear power has been left open as the agreement does not talk of a “100 percent renewable economy” by 2050 but of a “CO2 neutral” one. FULL ARTICLE

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