The Netherlands is “well prepared” to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and deliver a rapid transition to a carbon-neutral economy, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Wednesday.
The Paris-based agency noted in a new review that the Dutch energy policy has a “well-balanced approach,” with carbon pricing for industrial emissions, a competitive subsidy program supporting low-carbon technologies, and financial incentive for the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs).
The Netherlands is targeting to cuts its emissions by 49% by 2030 and by 95% by 2050, from 1990 levels. To achieve these goals, the country developed a broad policy framework with robust measures to reduce emissions in all sectors, said IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol.
“The balance of ambitious targets and competitive support measures will help drive a cost-effective energy transition,” he added.
Yet, the Netherlands faces “notable” challenges, since its economy remains heavily reliant on fossil fuels and has a concentration of energy- and emission-intensive industries.
The IEA notes one of the main challenges relates to energy security, following the government’s plans to end gas production at the Groningen field by mid-2022s. Once Europe’s largest onshore gas field, Groningen supplies gas to a large share of the Netherland’s heating and industrial energy. It’s still a key source of regional gas supply, particularly to Germany.
To partly overcome the supply gap left by the premature closure of the field, the Dutch government is developing a market for low-carbon hydrogen. Its leading role in hydrogen is aimed at reducing emissions from hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as industry and heavy transportation.
Other measures also include the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage, supporting the decarbonization of industries.
“The Netherlands has a clear vision for reducing its dependence on natural gas while protecting energy security,” said Birol.
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