Most Dutch councils fail to meet green energy pledge

Wind turbines close to the beach at Velsen Noord. Photo:
Wind turbines close to the beach at Velsen Noord. Photo:

Around one-third of Dutch local authority areas buy green energy to run their council operations, despite pledges by all councils to make the switch by 2015, according to research by Greenpeace.

Some of the rest buy green energy certificates but many continue to use electricity produced in coal and gas fired power stations run by Nuon, Essent and E.on, Greenpeace says in a new report.

In total, 103 out of the 308 councils which were analysed buy their energy from companies such as Greenchoice and HVC, the report says.

Utrecht and Eindhoven buy Eneco’s wind power while Alkmaar, Enschede and Zaanstad are singled out for their green approach.

Green power

A further 95, including cities like Rotterdam, Amsterdam and The Hague, buy their electricity from relatively green energy firms, or buy sustainable energy certificates but could do more to boost the use of sustainable energy, the report says.

The rest – 110 local authorities including Leiden, Leeuwarden and Zwolle – have failed to switch to green energy suppliers altogether, Greenpeace says.

In 2015, just 11% of the energy produced in the Netherlands came from sustainable sources, but wind, solar and biomass accounted for 37% of total energy sales.

This is made possible by a Europe-wide system of transferable energy source certificates which allow companies to ‘green’ their electricity supply.

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