Environmental organizations pleased by Rotterdam coal plant's closure
It is good news that the Onyx coal-fired power station in Rotterdam will soon be closed to help the Netherlands achieve its climate goals. That is the response of environmental organizations Greenpeace Nederland, Urgenda, and Milieudefensie.
"The power station in Rotterdam is in the top 10 of largest emitters in the Netherlands," said Faiza Oulahsen, head of climate and energy at Greenpeace Nederland. The organization has waited a long time for the closure of the power station on the Maasvlakte. "We have to be honest. It has taken way too long. We expected this news much earlier because it has long been clear how much damage such a coal-fired power station causes to air quality, health, nature, and the climate." Greenpeace Nederland hopes that the power station will soon stop firing and that the other three coal-fired power stations in the Netherlands will also close soon.
Director Marjan Minnesma of the sustainability organization Urgenda is also pleased with the news. She, too, thinks this decision took "a very long time." "But another step in the right direction. Three more to go," Minnesma said, referring to the other three coal-fired power stations in the Netherlands.
Milieudefensie campaign leader Kirsten Sleven called the accelerated closure of the coal-fired power station "excellent news." "Provided the workers of the coal-fired power station are protected." Milieudefensie does question the subsidy that the owner of the power plant receives. "The owner bought the plant in 2019 when it had long been clear that coal firing would not last long."
On Tuesday, Caretaker State Secretary Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius (Economic Affairs and Climate) announced that the plant owner would receive a maximum of 212.5 million euros for closing and dismantling the installation earlier. Once all the conditions have been met, the plant can shut down within two months. The decommissioning of the plant will take a maximum of three years.
Conditions are attached to the subsidy. For example, Onyx Power must establish a social plan and support employees who may lose their job. The European Commission must also provide a definitive answer that there is no question of unauthorized state aid. The Cabinet has also agreed with Onyx that a subsidy granted previously for the co-firing of biomass will be waived.
Reporting by ANP