Nuclear, Renewables

Netherlands to invest €7.5bn in renewable energy

20 June 2008 – The Dutch government said it will invest €7.5bn ($10.9bn) in energy supply between now and 2011 with priority given to renewable energy, energy saving and CO2 reduction in order to reduce the country’s dependency on oil and gas.

In its energy policy the government said the country’s energy production should be cleaner and more diversified and it must remain reliable and affordable. While presenting the Energy Report 2008 in The Hague, Dutch Economy Minister Maria van der Hoeven said the Netherlands should not rule out any options, even nuclear power.

About €4bn of the €7.5bn will be invested in renewable energy. Just over €1bn will be spent on energy conservation and €1bn on reducing CO2 emissions. The Dutch government wants at least 20 per cent of energy consumed to be sustainable by 2020.

An “energy island” should be built on the North Sea to generate power from tides and from wind. The government will investigate options ranging from generating electricity from the disparity between fresh and salt water and the cultivation of algae for the production of biofuels.

Mrs van der Hoeven emphasized that this government will not make a decision on the construction of new nuclear power plants, but it wants to workout scenarios for nuclear power in the Netherlands to present to parliament in two years’ time.

Nuclear power generated by the Netherlands’ only nuclear power plant in the coastal town of Borssele now accounts for 4 per cent of the Netherlands’ electricity production. Nuclear power is also imported from France and Belgium, which represents 5 per cent of Dutch electricity consumption.