The Cabinet takes measures for energy security news

News feature | 20-06-2022 | 17:30

  • Protection and recovery plan Gas activated
  • Urgent calls save energy and national energy saving targets
  • Production restrictions on coal-fired power plants are lifted with immediate effect
  • Temporary gas saving scheme for large gas consumers
  • Groningen field as planned on pilot light; production sites not yet closed

The Cabinet today decided to declare the first level of a gas crisis: ‘the early warning’. This implements the gas protection and recovery plan. Russia currently supplies much less gas to Europe than agreed, increasing the risk of gas shortages in Europe. There is currently no gas shortage in the Netherlands.

The Cabinet is taking this step to prepare the Netherlands as best as possible for the winter period. With the entry into force of the protection and recovery plan, gas companies will have to share detailed information on gas supplies with the government on a daily basis. As a result, the government can monitor the gas market even more closely and take further action if the situation so requires. The government will also lift the production restriction for coal-fired power plants with immediate effect to save gas for filling gas reserves, and publish a national target for energy savings and a temporary gas saving offer.

Early warning

The gas protection and recovery plan sets out the measures that the Netherlands can take if there is a threat of gas shortage. ‘Early warning’ is the first of a total of three crisis levels. There is currently no acute gas shortage in the Netherlands, but the declining gas supplies could have consequences. For example, for energy prices and for filling gas storage in the Netherlands and North-West Europe, which is necessary to ensure that there is sufficient gas available in the coming winter period. With the declaration of the first level of a gas crisis, gas companies must provide further detailed information on current gas supplies and stocks on a daily basis. It will enable the government to monitor the gas market even more closely and take further action immediately if the situation so requires.

Call less gas consumption

The urgency of saving energy has increased further due to the declining supplies of Russian gas. The Cabinet therefore makes an urgent call to companies and households to (continue) to save as much energy as possible, also in the summer. On 4 July, the Energy Saving campaign ‘Turn the knob too’ will continue with new savings tips for companies and households, aimed at the summer period. Part of the campaign for companies is a tool for SMEs, with which entrepreneurs can immediately see what energy-saving and sustainable measures they can take in their company, and what subsidies are available for this. The government is also tightening the energy saving obligation for companies and will draw up a national goal for energy savings.

Coal-fired power plants and gas saving scheme

Because the risk of gas shortages has increased, the government has today decided to withdraw the production limit for coal-fired power plants for 2022 to 2024 with immediate effect. This means that the coal-fired power plants will be allowed to produce at full capacity again, so less gas will be needed to produce electricity at gas-fired power plants. This reduces the risk of gas shortages and makes it easier to fill gas stocks in the Netherlands and Europe. The goal is to fill gas reserves in the Netherlands further this year than agreed at European level. The cabinet will shortly come up with further measures to reduce the extra CO2to offset emissions from coal-fired power plants. And will in the short term prepare a temporary gas saving offer that will give large gas consumers an economic incentive to reduce their gas consumption.

Groningen

State Secretary Vijlbrief today informed the House of Representatives that the Groningen field will be lit as promised in October this year. The Cabinet wants to be able to close the Groningen field in 2023. Due to the uncertain geopolitical development, State Secretary Vijlbrief has decided not to close any boreholes definitively this year.

Climate and Energy Minister Jetten: “It is clear that Russia uses energy as a means of power. Where previously certain companies or countries no longer received gas, we now see that total gas supplies from Russia to Europe are declining sharply. This means that it is without further action We can no longer guarantee that we will be able to fill gas reserves in Europe and the Netherlands sufficiently in preparation for winter, so the Cabinet is issuing an ‘early warning’ so that we can monitor gas supplies even more closely. that there is currently no gas shortage, we are taking these measures to prepare ourselves as best we can, after having to make difficult choices, including withdrawing the production ceiling for coal-fired power plants, which leads to extra CO2emissions in the Netherlands, and we want to compensate with further measures. “Because every cubic meter of gas counts from now on, the cabinet is also urging companies and households to save as much energy as possible, even in the summer.”

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