Dutch biomass plants, which are supposed to help achieve EU climate goals, have received billions of euros in support in recent years. However, it has become highly controversial due to its long-term environmental damage.
Climate Minister Rob Getten said in a statement that organic raw materials play an important role in achieving a circular and climate-neutral economy. “It is also important to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels… At the same time, the government is aware of the concerns.”
He said the government would approve the use of bio-renewable raw materials where they make the greatest contribution to sustainability and where the alternatives are limited.
Think of bio-concrete and bio-green gas-based coatings as an alternative to natural gas, or as fuels for heavy road transport, aviation, and shipping.
In July 2020, the Dutch government’s highest advisory body, the SER, advised that subsidies for biomass use in power plants should be quickly eliminated.
However, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency says the use of biomass may be unavoidable if the Netherlands is to meet the EU’s goals.
PBL argues that without biomass, the Netherlands will have to install wind turbines and solar panels faster than is currently the case and that other difficult choices will have to be made.
Using biomass, such as wood chips, as fuel will generate 19 megatons of additional carbon dioxide emissions in 2020, according to national statistics calculations.
The Netherlands has also been heavily criticized for importing wood chips from the United States and the Baltic countries to burn in power plants.
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