Holland has a good standing with respect to energy efficiency and renewable energy and leads the charts for greenhouse farming, processing of biomass and wind energy in marine environments. The energy industry provides a substantial part of the national income, employment and exports of the country. Therefore the Dutch government has adopted a modern industrial policy in order to take better advantage of any economic opportunities related to grey and green energy.
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Affordable, reliable and clean
Economic development and social well-being, in general, are largely dependent on the provision of robust and sustainable energy that is affordable, reliable and clean. The achievement of these fundamental goals is inextricably bound to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and the globalization of energy markets. The ever-increasing demands for sustainable sources of energy open various opportunities for energy trade, transport and generation in the margins of the sector. Holland has strong prerequisites for continuous growth in the global energy industry. Thanks to its geographic location it has a long coastline for harvesting wind energy. It hosts two of the key harbours in Europe: Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Furthermore, it has significant reserves of natural gas and a developed gas infrastructure. Hence the country possesses a firm basis for development with the aim to become a top European energy hub.
Five strengths of renewable energy in the Netherlands
1. Bold expectations for 2050
Holland has an ambitious plan for the future: it aims to develop a system for affordable, reliable and sustainable energy by 2050. In this respect, the country expects to decrease the emissions of carbon dioxide by 50% and to generate about 40% of its electricity in a sustainable manner by harvesting wind power and producing energy from biomass. The CO2 emissions can be reduced through the use of renewable and nuclear energy, energy saving, and capture /storage of carbon. The European Directive on Renewable Energy foresees that, by 2020, 14% of the energy used in the EU will be renewable.
2. Decentralised energy
Holland experiments with energy generation from waves, biomass and algae. It has found innovative solutions concerning on-site energy generation in greenhouses, “recycling” of carbon dioxide and utilization of waste heat in horticulture. Therefore the share of distributed energy in Holland is considerably higher in comparison to many other countries.
3. European leader in the production of green gas
Holland is an established key player in the gas market of Europe. It is a major producer of natural gas, develops advanced technologies in the field and is the top gas broker on the continent. The country has five decades of experience with the organization of partnerships between the public and private sector in the business with gas and is currently considered a European hub. The Netherlands has an unparalleled capacity to handle the seasonal changes in demand and to ensure the flexibility in supply sought by northwest Europe. Famous institute, e.g. the Energy Delta in Groningen, educate students from all over the world. Additionally, Holland is also becoming a leader in the area of green gas.
4. Extensive experience in efficient energy and solid reputation in the field of renewable energy research
The Dutch energy industry and the government have a long-lasting tradition of voluntary multiannual agreements regarding energy efficiency that has led to the accumulation of extensive experience. This is why the Dutch industry is among the most efficient worldwide in terms of energy use. The Netherlands is internationally recognized for its research in the area of renewable energy, such as solar energy, performed by the institutes ECN, FOM and a number of universities. The University of Technology in Delft has won 7 times the biennial solar car world competition (Solar Challenge) since 2001.
5. Extensive expertise in harvesting wind energy offshore and plans to become the biofuel hub of Europe
The Dutch are leading experts in harvesting wind energy at sea, biomass co-combustion in power plants fired with coal, methods for pre-treatment of biomass, landfill gas use, and heat pumps with cold and heat storage. The Netherlands is also conveniently located in the middle of the European continent and has a state-of-the-art petrochemical, industrial and logistics centre around Rotterdam. It is not surprising that the country has the ambition is to become the biofuel hub of Europe.