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To combat climate change, almost all countries in the world made agreements in Paris in 2015. To make these agreements concrete, there is EU legislation that must ensure that greenhouse gas emissions are strongly reduced and that they are almost completely stopped by 2050. One of those laws is the European Renewable Energy Directive. To promote the use of energy from renewable sources, a Dutch law for renewable energy has also been in force since 1 January 2022.
EU Renewable Energy Directive
The EU directive obliges the Netherlands to use 32 percent renewable energy by 2030. The mandatory share of renewable energy is increasing every year. In 2022, the obligation will be 18 percent. In 2030 that will be 28 percent. An obligation of 14 percent will apply in 2030 for the transport sector. The transport sector refers to road traffic, inland and maritime shipping and aviation.
A directive obliges all member states – including the Netherlands – to take measures to help achieve the objectives. To this end, the Dutch government and the business community have made agreements in the Dutch Klimaatakkoord (Climate Agreement). The Environmental Management Act regulates the main points. The details are laid down in the Energy Transport Decree and the Energy Transport Regulation. In addition, in line with the European Renewable Energy Directive, the Netherlands has had new legislation since 1 January 2022 for more environmentally friendly energy use.
The Dutch government mainly encourages the use of electric cars. But the main alternatives to reduce the use of fossil fuels are biofuels. To make these, the Netherlands mainly encourages the use of waste and residual materials. This is done through a system of double counting, which means that these biofuels count twice in the obligations imposed on the business community and in achieving the national target. This policy has proved successful, according to the report of the Dutch Emissions Authority.
Although the new law has only just been introduced in the Netherlands, more measures are already being discussed in Brussels to halt the use of fossil energy. The idea is to raise the targets and expand to other sectors, such as maritime and aviation. The first proposals for this were published in July 2021. These proposals go further than just renewable energy. It concerns 11 accounts with a lot of interdependence. Discussing those plans in the European Parliament and the European Council takes time and follows a fixed procedure. It takes at least a year and a half before such a procedure is completed. Nevertheless, a number of steps have already been taken in the right direction in the Netherlands with the new law for renewable energy.
Frank Bergmans, policy officer sustainable development MVO