Friday 27 May 2022

MPs want a stop to billion euro biomass power station subsidies

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Photo: Depositphotos.com

A majority of MPs have called on the government to immediately stop paying billions of euros to energy companies to encourage them to use more environmentally-friendly biomass.

They want economic affairs minister Henk Kamp to stop accepting any more requests for subsidies under rules to stimulate greener energy production.

Earlier this week, the Financieele Dagblad said coal-fired electricity plants in the Netherlands are set to receive an estimated €2bn to €2.5bn in state subsidies to stimulate the use of biomass.

MPs say it is unclear what the money is being spent on and point to the rising cost of biomass, compared with the drop in the cost of solar and wind energy. The origin of biomass, mainly from woods in Europe and North America, is also controversial.

‘Trees are being chopped down in Canada, shipped by boat to the Netherlands, turned into wood chips and burned in power stations. This subsidy must stop,’ said Labour MP Jan Vos.

The motion to end subsidies was not supported by the ruling VVD or the Christian Democrats. The CDA says it is concerned that targets for reducing CO2 emissions will not be met without the use of biomass to replace coal, a point which minister Kamp reiterated later to news agency ANP.

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