Written By: Natalie Baer
In order to meet the Netherland’s 2020 renewable targets, a coalition of NGOs, politicians and businesses have published a National Energy Agreement –an attempt to boost energy efficiency measures and renewable energy generation in the country.
Intense negotiations over a 6 month period, between forty representative organizations, dozens of scientists, politicians, businesses and Dutch stakeholders, were all facilitated by the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER). As a result, a new agreement entitled ‘Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth’ has been announced -an effort to make Netherland’s energy supply more sustainable.
The agreement, aiming to increase the country’s energy generation from renewables from its existing 4.4% to 14% by 2020 involves the closure of three coal power plants by 2017 -one in January 2015, with the remaining two scheduled to close in 2017. Projecting employment generation, the policy estimates that the increased target will create 15,000 new full time jobs in the clean energy industry, providing plenty of opportunities for the ex-fossil fuel employees.
The country that is already producing approximately 70% of its renewable energy from biomass plants, 20% by wind power and its remaining 10% by solar, geothermal and hydropower, aims to scale up its offshore wind farm power up to 4,450 megawatts (MW) by 2023 and onshore wind power to 6000MW by 2020.
To achieve such targets, investments totaling over $508 million dollars (€375 million) will be put into the clean energy sector, including $34 million (€25 million) of this being invested into research and development (R&D) funds in 2014, which is set to increase to $68 million (€50 million) by 2017.
Authors of the new agreement propose that the Netherland’s decision will significantly help the country reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Estimates project by the year 2050, such emissions will fall by 60% compared to 1990 levels.