Dutch will miss 2020 green energy, climate targets: report

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands will miss 2020 targets for renewable energy production and greenhouse gas emissions despite new investments in wind power, according to a government review published on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: A vessel passes wind turbines in a wind park 23 km (14 miles) off the coast of Ijmuiden September 3, 2007. Offshore wind farms are likely to appear more and more frequently off European coastlines as governments seek to increase their use of renewable energy without angering their citizens by placing giant turbines on their doorsteps. REUTERS/ Michael Kooren (NETHERLANDS)

Based on current projections, green schemes will produce 12.4 percent of the Dutch energy supply by that year, below a 14-percent target agreed with the European Union, the review said.

The projects that are in place will have cut damaging emissions by 23 percent from 1990 levels, missing a 25-percent goal agreed in the Kyoto Protocol, it added.

Green campaigners said the figures showed the government had to do more, quickly.

“If we keep on like this the Netherlands will still be bungling at the bottom of European lists in 2030,” the Dutch Union for Renewable Energy, representing renewables companies, said.

Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp said the projections had improved since last year, due to “the successful roll-out of wind energy on the sea”.

Stung by a court ruling in 2015 that found the Dutch government was failing to live up to its obligations, Kamp began a more ambitious roll-out of wind turbine farms in the North Sea and earmarked 100 million euros ($118 million) in extra spending to combat climate change..

Parties in a new government this month agreed to close five coal-fired plants by 2030 and increase taxes on polluters.

The report said Dutch renewable energy will rise to 23.9 percent of the total by 2030, while greenhouse gas emissions will fall by 34 percent from 1990 levels.

That would still miss EU-wide goals of 27 percent and 40 percent, respectively.

As the Netherlands transitions away from traditional energy sources, the report predicted there will be more jobs in the renewables industry than fossil fuel by 2020, and that half of the country’s electricity will be renewable, mostly wind and solar power, by 2025.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Andrew Heavens