Wednesday 01 February 2023

Energy firms, employers, ministers seal ‘energy agreement’

The proportion of sustainable energy used in the Netherlands should go up from  4% to 16% of the total by 2023 under the terms of a new ‘energy agreement’ finalised on Wednesday.

Talks on the deal have been ongoing for six months under the auspices of SER, the government’s advisory body made up of union, employer and lay representatives.

Investment

The agreement will lead to billions of euros of investment and create at least 15,000 jobs, SER said. Total energy use should be cut by 1.5% a year across the board.

Some €400m has been earmarked for subsidies for private landlords to make their properties more energy efficient.

The deal also involves closing down old coal-fired power stations earlier than scheduled, the setting up of a special fund to pay for energy efficency measures – with cash from pension funds – and a major focus on offshore wind energy generation.

Reactions

Reactions to the plans have been largely positive, news agency ANP said. Most political parties welcomed news of the deal, although the left-wing greens GroenLinks said it is a ‘first step’.

‘If we want to combat climate change and protect our environment we will have to be a lot more ambitious,’ party leader Bram van Ojik said.

The agreement still has to be signed by all 40 parties involved in drawing it up.

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