The Cabinet of the Netherlands plans to put the coal-fired power plant into full operation over the coming winter to make sure there is enough gas left to warm the house in the coming winter.
The decision was made despite the option to use gas from under Groningen. These fields are currently being demolished as a result of the earthquake.
The Dutch decision, which goes against official government policy, will be made the day after Germany announces that it will launch a coal-fired power plant to save gas storage for central heating.
This decision was prompted last week by Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, which announced that it was reducing supply from the Node Street 1 pipeline for technical reasons.
There is no serious shortage of gas at this point in time when measures need to be taken to ensure sufficient gas in the winter, but Climate Minister Rob Jetten said in a press conference late Monday afternoon.
“We will never do this unless these are special times,” he said. “This is an important step in ensuring the safety of the supply.” Gas storage is currently 45% to 55% capacity.
Coal-fired power plants are currently limited to 35% of capacity to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Measures to compensate for this are currently under consideration, according to Jetten. There are four coal-fired power plants in the Netherlands, all believed to have been switched to non-fossil power plants by 2030.
Large gas users will have financial incentives to reduce gas usage, and additional measures will be announced in the September budget, he said. This includes additional support for low-income households.
Part of the funding for this comes from the savings made to compensate the owners of coal-fired power plants when production is reduced.
Meanwhile, Jetten urged people to do everything they could to reduce gas usage. “It may be strange to ask in the summer, but one cubic meter of gas is important,” he said. “So, shorten your shower now and add more insulation to your home to use less gas in the winter.”
Using more gas from Froningen would be a very last resort, Jetten said.
Mining Minister Hans Vigil Brief said he plans to officially close the Froningen vineyards in 2023 or 2024, but keep all 11 open in the event of an emergency. ..
“Groningen gas is not safe to use,” he said. “Mining inspectors are very clear about this. It can only be used when public security is threatened.
Russia has threatened to cut gas supplies to countries that refuse to pay in the ruble, and Gazprom said last month that it would stop supplying gas to Dutch trading giant Gastera due to a payment dispute.
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