The members of the Rutte III government were all "overwhelmed" by the decision of Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate to stop gas extraction in Groningen, he said on television program Zomergasten. In March the government decided to halt gas production in the earthquake ridden region by 2030 at the latest, ANP reports.
The Netherlands is not sufficiently prepared to deal with the consequences of a long-term gas shortage, according to a crisis plan from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate that EenVandaag got hold of by appealing to the freedom of information act.
The crisis plan describes possible steps the Netherlands can take if gas extraction in Groningen has to be halted sooner than planned, for example due to a massive earthquake, and if the country can't get enough gas from abroad to meet the demand. The plan dates from January 2018.
Former Environment Minister Ed Nijpels presented the Netherlands' Climate Agreement to Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate on Tuesday. This concerns the agreement in broad terms, with some concrete goals set and agreements made. The rest will be worked out and finalized later this year. The aim is to implement the Climate Agreement in 2019, NOS and NU.nl report.
The repair and reinforcement of homes that suffered serious damage as a result of gas extraction earthquakes in Groningen, needs to be speeded up, the state supervision on mines SoDM said in advice to Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs, RTL Nieuws reports.
Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate reached an agreement with Shell and ExxonMobil about gas production in Groningen. The government and NAM will invest at least 1 billion euros into quality of life in the gas mining area.
On Thursday opposition parties in parliament insisted that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs reverses his decision to postpone the reinforcement of 1,588 homes in the province of Groningen, NU.nl reports.
Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs thinks that gas extraction in Groningen could be reduced to below 12 billion cubic meters by 2020, he wrote in a letter to parliament. Though he added that he can not guarantee this as the effect of a number of planned measures is not yet certain, RTL Nieuws reports.
At least dozens of Dutch homes are located too close to underground high-voltage cables, RTL Nieuws reports based on its own research. The Dutch Health Council has indications that children who live close to these cables have a higher risk of leukemia.
The Netherlands power grid is not growing fast enough to keep uw with all the new technological developments, the Dutch Data Center Association (DDA) warned in a letter sent to Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and climate on Thursday, AD reports.
According to the DDA, the Dutch digital economy is heading for a major problem due to acute capacity problems in the country's power infrastructure. The association also points out that it is impossible for the Netherlands to switch sufficiently to green electricity, because it simply can not be delivered.
The Dutch government wants to protect important companies in the Dutch telecom sector against foreign takeovers. State Secretary Mona Keijzer of Economic Affairs is sending a legislative proposal to the Council of State on Thursday which states that such takeovers first need to be approved by the Ministry, ANP reports.
The Ministry hopes that this bill will prevent companies of "vital importance" easily falling into foreign hands. The bill concerns "providers of telephony, internet or data centers", the Ministry said in a statement, according to the news wire.
Dutch petroleum company NAM wants Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs to adjust the proposals for the new Mining and Gas Act so that the company is less responsible for the consequences of gas extraction in Groningen, such as damage caused by earthquakes, Trouw reports.
Shell "should have been more assertive" in its warnings about climate change, Ben van Beurden, CEO of the Dutch oil and gas giant said in a podcast by Studio Energie. Environmental group Milieudefensie recently filed a lawsuit against Shell for the role it played in the climate problems the world currently faces.
Shell and Exxon wants the government to pay them billions of euros in compensation for the gas that will not be extracted from Groningen now that the government is gradually reducing gas production in the province to zero, NOS reports.
Gas extraction in Groningen will gradually be reduced to zero, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced in his weekly press conference on Thursday. He called it an "important decision". Shortly after the press conference, the government released a statement saying that gas extraction in the province will be reduced to less than 12 billion cubic meters per year by 2022, and then to 7.5 million cubic meters per year. "In the years after that gas extraction will be reduced to zero."
The Dutch government plans to build three more offshore wind farms, in addition to five new wind farms already agreed upon in the Energy Agreement. The government wants the total offshore wind farms to produce 40 percent of the Netherlands' current electricity consumption by 2030.
The Dutch government gave Diederik Samsom the job of making sure that a quarter of Dutch homes are off the natural gas network by 2030, the former PvdA leader said in an interview with newspaper Trouw on Friday. That equates to around 2 million Dutch homes.
Samsom will work as an advisor and commissioner at state energy company EBN, and also as negotiator for the Dutch Climate Agreement. VVD Minister Erik Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate asked Samsom to be the negotiator last month, he said.
On Monday the claims desk specifically for handling damages caused by gas extraction in Groningen opened. The 30 employees of the claims desk is facing a major workload - around 12 thousand damage cases are waiting to be examined, because almost nothing has been done with them since March 31st last year, RTL Nieuws reports.
An independent committee will start by making an inventory and assessing the damage claims. The claims desk is part of a new damage protocol that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate presented on January 31st.
On Monday an innovation deal was signed in Brussels that removes obstacles for storing energy in batteries. Companies in Utrecht's Lombok neighborhood have been working on this since 2015. The Urecht project is one of two innovation deals that the European Commission selected out of 32 proposals. "An important step", State Secretary Mona Keijzer of Economic Affairs and Climate said, ANP reports.
The Netherlands' major attractions are increasingly being flooded by international tourists, according to Dutch tourism office NBTC. The hotspots suffer under traffic jams, crowds and problems for residents. "The necessary distribution of tourists is stagnating", NBTC CEO Jos Vranken said to the Telegraaf.
Last year the Netherlands had 17.6 million foreign visitors, an 11 percent increase compared to the year before. This year NBTC expects more than 18.5 million international visitors, increasing to over 20 million by 2020.
The Dutch economy will continue to grow strongly this year and next year, according to expectations announced by the Netherlands office for economic policy analysis CPB on Tuesday. Next year unemployment will drop to its lowest level since 2001, NU.nl reports.
The Dutch economy grew by 3.1 percent in 2017, the strongest growth in 10 years, Statistics Netherlands reported on Wednesday.
In the last quarter of 2017, the economy's growth decreased somewhat, but was still strong at 2.9 percent compared to the last quarter of 2016. Compared to the third quarter of 2017, the GDP grew by 0.8 percent.
Investments and exports in particular contributed to economic growth in the fourth quarter. Household consumption decreased somewhat, but the industry grew more.
Gas production in Loppersum, Groningen has been shut down with immediate effect, Dutch petroleum company NAM announced on Friday. Closing the Loppersum gas fields immediately was one of the measures the state supervisor on mines SoDM advised following an earthquake in the region last month, the strongest earthquake to hit Groningen in five years.
Gas extraction in Groningen must be halved to a maximum of 12 billion cubic meters a year in order to stop fracking earthquakes and guarantee safety in the province, the state supervisor on mines SoDM said in a recommendation to Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate on Thursday. The Loppersum clusters must close immediately, the SoDM said, RTL Nieuws reports.
Dutch gas firm NAM will for the time being not pay profits to its two shareholders - Shell and ExxonMobil, Shell announced in a press release. NAM has 18 billion euros available to compensate for damaged caused by gas extraction related earthquakes in Groningen for the next five years, the Dutch gas firm also announced in a press release.