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New Dutch Coalition Aims for More Offshore Gas Extraction

The incoming Dutch government said on Thursday it will aim to expand offshore natural gas extraction and nuclear energy production as part of plans to reduce the Netherlands’ dependence on “unreliable countries.”

In its draft coalition pact, the right wing government said it would stick to international climate goals that it has already agreed as much as possible, but would not add any national restrictions on top of them.

That means scrapping plans for an additional national carbon dioxide tax.

The plans to increase Dutch energy security are in line with the conservative and populist themes of the four political parties in the prospective government. They also reflect difficulties the country faced after losing access to Russian gas after the start of the Ukraine war in 2022.

New “long term contracts will be struck for natural gas and we will build reserves of gas and critical commodities,” the draft pact said.

While production at the large gas field under the Dutch province of Groningen will remain shut, “gas production in the North Sea will be scaled up,” the draft pact said.

The country’s plans to expand offshore wind appear to remain unchanged, while construction of new wind turbines on land will be de-emphasized.

In addition, the pact re-affirmed plans to increase nuclear energy production in the Netherlands.

“The nuclear reactor in Borssele will remain open, and the construction of two new reactors will continue,” the pact said.

“In addition two more nuclear reactors will be built, with the possibility of multiple small reactors” in public-private partnerships, it said.

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