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The Netherlands announces the “gas crisis” and decides to return to coal

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The three coal plants in the country will be able to operate at full capacity until 2024.

The Minister for Climate and Energy of the Netherlands, Rob Jetten, and the Secretary of State for Mining, Hans Vijlbrief, announced this Monday at press conference the emergency measures that the Dutch Government decided to take to deal with the “gas crisis”. By decreeing the first level of the crisis, the Cabinet chose to burn more coal.

To avoid opening the gas tap for the time being and to accumulate reserves for next winter, when need to heat homes, the Netherlands allowed the full operation of the three remaining coal plants in the country until 2024.

Until now the performance of these plants was limited to a maximum of 35% due to the high pollution caused by burning coal, but given the emergency, they may burn the fossil fuel in its entirety . Jetten also assured that they plan to take additional measures to compensate for the CO2 footprint that these plants will leave.

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“Now there is no acute shortage, but we see that more and more countries are coming under pressure,” argued the minister. “Therefore, it is increasingly uncertain whether we can fill our storage facilities sufficiently. That worries us,” he added.

For their part, the authorities are working on incentives and aid for the population. As explained by Jetten, there will be government subsidies for companies that reduce gas consumption and material support for citizens who have difficulty affording high energy bills, but these measures will be announced later.

  • By deciding to burn more coal to limit gas use before the arrival of winter, the Dutch government is following in the footsteps of Germany, whose minister of Energy urged to the country’s coal power plants to prepare to start activities as soon as possible.
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