Ministers on collision course over coal-fired power stations

The Dutch government was sued after it decided to shut its coal-fired power stations. Photo:

The fate of the five remaining coal fired power stations in the Netherlands remains in the balance on Friday, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

According to FD sources, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp (VVD) and junior environment minister Sharon Dijksma (Labour) are ‘on a collision course’ about the need to close the power stations ahead of schedule, the paper says.

The decision, which was supposed to be made before the Christmas break, was postponed to Friday but is likely to be put off once again until next week when prime minister Mark Rutte is expected to break the deadlock, the paper said.


Kamp is supposed to come up with a number of scenarios for phasing out the remaining power stations, a move he says is both expensive and ineffective. The closures would force the Netherlands  to import electricity produced by even more polluting power stations, the minister says.

The FD’s source say Dijksma wants the minister to come up with a clear scenario outlining the closure of one or more power stations before the end of this cabinet period. Kamp, however, is adamant that an decision cannot be made before the autumn, when the nationale energieverkenning, an annual study of the nation’s energy needs, is published.

The Netherlands is supposed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25% by 2020 in line with international agreements. Kamp says this can be done without closing more power stations. Five coal fired power stations have been decommissioned since 2013.

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