Dutch urged to speed up on nuclear power

Expanding nuclear power would help the Netherlands meet its own tough targets on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the International Energy Agency said on Monday.

The Netherlands currently has just one nuclear power station, the Borssele facility in the western province of Zeeland, which provides for around 7% of the country’s electricity production.
But in a new report on the Dutch energy sector published today, the IEA says that expanding nuclear power ‘could make a significant contribution to meeting greenhouse gas emissions targets in a cost-effective manner’.
Last year energy firm Delta, which owns 50% of Borssele, said it wants to construct a second nuclear power station and wants this to be operational in 2016.
But the current government has agreed that no new nuclear power plants would be built during its term.
‘Streamline processes’
Presenting its report on Monday, the IEA said it would like to see the government make use of the period up to 2011 to establish its position on nuclear energy and streamline planning processes.
IEA director Nobuo Tanaka pointed out that the Netherlands wants a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, 20% of power production to come from renewable sources and an annual 2% improvement in energy efficiency, all by 2020.
‘The Netherlands now faces the challenge of making its ambitious aspirations a reality,’ said Tanaka.
The report warns that the 20% target for renewable production is ‘particularly challenging’ given that the current level is just 3%.
The Netherlands has the sixth-lowest share of renewable electricity generation among the 28 IEA member countries.
Click here for the IAE’s press release.

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