Closing all Dutch coal plants is possible: Council of State

greenhouse gas emissions Frank J. (Frank John) Aleksandrowicz Wikimedia commons. ()

The Netherlands can close all its coal plants, but only if a national law to that effect is implemented, according to advice the Council of State sent to Economic Minister Henk Kamp on Wednesday, ANP reports.

The Tweede Kamer called on Kamp last week to by making the efficiency requirements so high that they can't be met by any coal plant. The council of state investigated whether this was possible.

According to the Council, doing so is likely against European rules on emissions in the industry. However, if a national closure law was adopted, those European rules will not apply. Though the council adds that other European obstacles may get in the way.

The five oldest coal plants in the Netherlands will all be closed by the end of this year. Of the remaining five, three were opened only a few years ago. An important consideration in closing these new ones, is whether their owners will be entitled to compensation. According to the Council, this is not necessarily the case. But that would entail a transitional period, so that owners can reduce the damage. Without that transitional period, property rights may be violated.