Report: Closing all Dutch coal plants by 2020 to cost €7 billion

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Closing all coal plants in the Netherlands by 2020 will cost 7 billion euros, according to a report commissioned by Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs. The report also concludes that doing so will reduce CO2 emissions in the country by 31 percent and would not put energy supply in danger, NOS reports.

While closing all the coal plants will reduce CO2 emissions in the Netherlands by 31 percent, the net reduction will only be 9 percent because coal plants elsewhere in Europe will have to provide power to the Netherlands, according to the report. It also concludes that closing the Dutch plants will not jeopardize power supply, but will mean a electricity price increase throughout Europe due to the decreased supply.

Kamp commissioned the report to help in his decision on the future of the five remaining coal plants in the Netherlands. He has to make a decision after the summer, according to NOS. Environmental organizations, scientists and even a majority in parliament are all calling for the close of the Dutch coal plants. This is the only way in which the court ruling in the so-called Urgenda case can be met, they say. The coal industry on the other hand, feel that a rapid closing of all the plants will lead to unnecessarily high costs.

Minister Kamp is discussing a so-called phase-out of the five remaining plants with energy companies and other stakeholders. He previously stated that he intends to close the two plants dating from the 90's in the short term. It is unclear what will happen to the three recently opened coal plants on the Maasvlakte and Eemshaven.