Dutch green groups reach deal on biomass for energy production

wood chips backgroundEnvironmental organisations have reached agreement on the origins of biomass used in coal-fired power stations after two years of talks, the economic affairs ministry is quoted as saying on Friday.

The agreement ends deadlock over the use of biomass – plant and vegetable matter – as an additional fuel in Dutch power stations.

The use of biomass has gone down sharply because it is no longer subsidised pending the end of the dispute and this is threatening Dutch sustainable energy targets, website nu.nl reports.

Organisations such as Greenpeace have been divided over the definition of sustainable biomass and its sources amid concerns not all plantations are fully sustainable. They say wood waste should only be used which comes from FSC certified forestry.

Ed Nijpels, VVD stalwart and in charge of monitoring the energy agreement, says the Netherlands has the strictest biomass definition in the world. However, he has welcomed the breakthrough, nu.nl reportsed.

Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp says the agreement will increase the share of sustainable energy used in the Netherlands from 4.5% to 5.7%. However, this is still a long way below the 2020 target of 14%.

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