Energy giant RWE is calling on the Dutch government to reconstruct the last five coal plants in the Netherlands to run on biomass, instead of closing them completely. According to the company, this will reduce CO2 emissions even more and make best use of existing infrastructure, NU.nl reports.
The best way to deal with Dutch coal-fire power plants is not closing them, but making them more sustainable, according to a yet to be published study by Frontier Economics, which the Financieele Dagblad got its hands on.
According to the study, the CO2 emissions from the coal plants can be stored in old gas fields. And biomass can be burned in the plants. That solution is relatively cheap and saves a lot on greenhouse gasses.
Electricity production from coal in Dutch power plants increased for the fourth year in a row in 2015, according to Statistics Netherlands. Last year 39 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity was generated using coal, a 35 percent increase compared to 2014.
The Netherlands is still far from reaching the objectives agreed to in the European guideline for Renewable Energy 2020. Of all the EU countries, only France is performing worse, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands on Thursday.
Wind generated electricity in the Netherlands increased by nearly 20 percent last year, thereby accounting for more than half of the 13 billion kilowatt hours of electricity produced from renewable sources, Statistics Netherlands reports.
Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs is leaving politics after the next parliamentary election scheduled for March 2017. He no longer wants to be a minister and he will not be returning to parliament, a spokesperson confirmed to NU after Kamp announced his departure on political talk show Politiek in de Pol.
On Tuesday the Tweede Kamer, lower house of Dutch parliament, voted that Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs should give no subsidies to coal-fired power plants for co-firing biomass until it is clear whether the plants must be closed due to pollution. Engergie-Nederland, the umbrella organization for energy companies in the country, thinks that the Energy Agreement will be jeopardized if coal plants do not co-fire biomass
With reporting by Zack Newmark.
At least four people were injured Wednesday morning when two different explosions occurred in a biomass power plant in Borssele, Zeeland, the regional safety office reported. The office says all four were hospitalized, however broadcaster Omroep Zeeland says two people received serious injuries and were rushed to an area hospital and the others were treated at the scene.