Energy consumption in the Netherlands increased by 2 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Friday. The use of natural gas saw the biggest increase, mostly due the colder winter than in 2015, according to the stats office.
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.
The Dutch government will have to close at least one or two of the brand new coal plants if they hope to reach the target set in the so-called Urgenda ruling, according to an as yet confidential study by CE Delf that newspaper Trouw managed to get its hands on.
By closing all coal plants, the Netherlands can fulfill all its climate obligations in one shot, Greenpeace said in a statement responding to a report on the future of coal powered plants in the country.
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
Closing the five coal-fired power plants in the Netherlands by 2020 will cost energy companies 3.3 billion euros, according to a report by energy specialist consultancy Spring Associates. Consumers will hardly notice the closure, with only an about 14 euro increase in the average household's annual energy bill
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.
Dutch banks ING and Rabobank jointly invested 218.6 million euros in Russian coal firm SUEK in February of this year, according to bank watchdog Eerlijke Banwijzer. The watchdog finds the investments "appalling" and calls on both banks to stop investing in coal producers.
Closing all power plants in the Netherlands will mean 1.9 billion euros in lost revenue for energy companies, but bring in 4.7 billion euros in extra wealth for the country, according to a study done by SEO Economic Research on behalf of environmental organization Natuur & Milieu
The Dutch government is considering closing another two coal fired power plants in the Netherlands, on top of the already agreed upon closure of the five oldest coal plants in the country. The final decision on this will be made in the autumn
Greenpeace activists are protesting on the Maasvlakte against an Eon coal plant. Activists climbed the coal plant's 175 meter flute and are writing the names of people who singed a petition for coal-free energy by 2020 on it.
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
Dutch bank ING decided to stop financing new coal plants with immediate effect. The bank will also no longer provide credit to new clients in the energy industry that rely on coal more than 50 percent.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, wants the cabinet to gradually close all he coal power plants in the Netherlands.
That the policy on climate change and the use of coal powered energy plants have the ruling coalition thoroughly divided, once again became evident during Tuesday's municipal debate to prepare for the climate summit in Paris next week.
GroenLinks and the PvdA are working together on a legislative proposal which states that the Netherlands' CO2 emissions has to be at least 95 percent less in 2050, compared to 1990. And the energy supply must be fully sustainable by then.
An open letter to parliament called on the Netherlands' politicians to close all 11 operating coal plants in the country. According to the 64 professors who wrote the letter, deciding to close the coal plants will send a clear signal in the run-up to the climate summit in Paris next week.
The Netherlands can be a major contributor to solving the climate problem if all the coal plants in the Netherlands close down.