VVD wants NL to produce more energy as regulator warns that low gas prices wont return
Ruling party VVD wants the Netherlands to generate more of its own power to prevent chaotic situations like after Russia invaded Ukraine. “The world has become less safe. And we no longer want to transfer money to hostile and unfree regimes,” VVD MP Silvio Erkens said to NOS. Martijn Snoep, director of the Dutch regulator for consumers and markets ACM, told De Telegraaf that despite the currently falling prices, cheap gas is definitely a thing of the past.
The VVD wants future Cabinets to focus on generating energy or extracting energy sources in the Netherlands, even if purchasing them from another country would be cheaper. “Our investment money then remains in the Netherlands instead of spending it on Qatar, Russia, or China,” Erkens said to the broadcaster.
If purchasing energy remains necessary, the government should not look at the price but the long-term reliability as the deciding factor. Import from stable countries like Norway or from many different countries to spread out the risk, Erkens said. The same goes for raw materials like lithium for storing solar energy. That raw material currently comes almost exclusively from China.
No return to cheap gas
The ACM also thinks the Netherlands’ energy strategy may need re-examining because there’s no going back to the pre-invasion situation of getting cheap gas from Russia. “Don’t let falling gas prices lull us to sleep. The time of cheap gas will not return. We expect that there will be no more gas from Russia and Groningen, and we will no longer receive gas from Norway and the United Kingdom. And that LNG will soon be going to China to a greater extent,” ACM director Martijn Snoep said to the Telegraaf.
The current market is rough for energy companies, several of which have gone bankrupt in the past months. According to Snoep, the ACM has taken measures to keep Dutch energy companies going, tightening their requirements and instructing some to increase their buffers. But he can’t rule out that Dutch companies may start to buckle. “We, therefore, want a separate fund for victims in the event of a bankruptcy. People with tight purses, in particular, can get into serious trouble if a few months’ advance is lost. I, therefore, advocate an emergency fund like the travel industry and banks already have. You will at least get your money back.”
SP wants to nationalize energy sector
The SP wants to nationalize energy - remove it from the market and leave it in the government’s hands. “Foreign shareholders are about profits and investments, so in the end, you have no say,” SP parliamentarian Renske Leijten said to NOS. The SP wants a State company to handle the purchase, generation, and sale of energy. A quick way to start achieving this is to let the network companies, which are still national, also supply power. “If a Swedish state-owned company like Vattenfall can do it, then a Dutch state-owned company can do it too.”