Tuesday 21 September 2021

SER signals end for biomass subsidies, calls for speedy phasing out

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Dutch government’s senior advisory body SER is recommending that subsidies for the use of biomass in power stations be phased out quickly, according to a draft version of the agency’s report, which due to be presented to ministers shortly.

Instead, according to broadcaster NOS which has seen the report, biomass should be used as a raw material for the chemicals and other industries because this would be far more useful than burning it.

The discussion about the use of wood chips and other organic waste as a source of electricity has become more heated in recent weeks, and last week, MPs from the four ruling coalition parties submitted a motion to parliament which calls for an end to subsidies for biomass-fired power stations.

The SER’s recommendations mark ‘the end of biomass as a source of energy,’ said Jesse Klaver, leader of the left-wing green party GroenLinks. ‘This is good advice, and we must stop using it as soon as possible.’

The cabinet says it will not react to the report until it is officially published. SER does say that companies which have invested in biomass plants should be compensated.


The Dutch environmental assessment agency PBL said in January that the use of biomass may be unavoidable if the Netherlands is to meet the EU targets. Without using biomass, the Netherlands will have to install wind turbines and solar panels more quickly than it is currently doing, and other difficult choices will have to be made, the PBL said.

And earlier this month, economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes said that biomass continues to have an important role in meeting the government’s climate change targets. However, he said, he will soon publish a list of requirements which biomass will have to meet to be really considered green.

In total, 628 biomass installations in the Netherlands will get some €11.4bn in subsidies over the next few years, the AD reported earlier.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.