EBN delivers energy to the energy transition. The aim of this is to have a carbon-neutral energy system by 2050. Discover how we do this, and what our role is.
The sharp rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere means that the temperature on our planet is increasing. The climate change that this brings about is a threat to life on earth. The time available to us to turn the tide is running out. That is what we mean when we talk about the climate crisis.
The climate crisis demands world-wide action. The Paris Agreement, signed by 195 countries including the Netherlands, aims to restrict the global average temperature rise by 2050 to well under 2 degrees Celsius, if possible under 1.5 degrees Celsius. In order to achieve this, the focus is on reducing CO2 emissions.
The Dutch government has set the following targets for emissions of greenhouse gases in the Netherlands: 49 per cent fewer emissions in 2030, relative to 1990, and a carbon-neutral energy system in 2050. At this point in time we are in the transition phase from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy.
Implementation of the Dutch Climate Agreement
The Climate Agreement that was presented in June 2019 forms an important part of the Dutch interpretation of the Paris Agreement. The Climate Agreement sets out arrangements on a sector-by-sector basis.
For the Electricity sector, the agreement is that 70 per cent of all electricity will come from renewable sources in 2030, in particular wind and solar energy. In addition, geothermal energy may, in the fullness of time, be able to provide a substantial share of the demand for heat. Due to the growing demand for electricity and the variable availability of power from the wind and sun, solutions for energy storage are needed to guarantee security of supply.
Incorporation of the developments referred to above plus, for instance, green gas and hydrogen is having a substantial impact on the energy system in the Netherlands and the infrastructure of electricity and heating grids. Various scenarios have been developed in relation to the energy system in 2050, and in-depth studies are being carried out in respect of these scenarios. It is clear that creating the energy system of the future demands far-reaching partnership within the sector, and control of the developments.
The role of EBN
The required acceleration of the developments would be helped by strong public-private partnership. Throughout the chain, EBN can use its influence by bringing parties together and by contributing capital, infrastructure, knowledge and expertise in actual projects. In respect of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, EBN has an advisory role that stems from its knowledge of the subsurface and the gas value/heating chain.
EBN wants to use its operating activities to make a substantial contribution to reduction of CO2 and a carbon-neutral energy system. At this point in time, natural gas still has a share of around 40 per cent of our energy consumption. EBN will continue to support the extraction of natural gas in the Netherlands as long as there is still demand for it within the country. This means that less gas needs to be imported, which is beneficial on several fronts, including the carbon footprint.
At the same time, EBN is committed to bolstering the geothermal energy sector and accelerating the development of geothermal energy. EBN is also active in the development of CO2 storage. EBN is exploring the opportunities for underground energy storage and other building blocks for sustainability, such as the development and production of hydrogen and green gas. In this way EBN is energising the transition in order to take the Climate Agreement from the drawing board to implementation.
From gas value chain to energy value chain
In the Climate Accord companies, social organisations and authorities have endorsed a package of measures and agreements that is intended to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in the Netherlands by 49 per cent in 2030. The current energy system in the Netherlands, which is based on fossil fuels, needs to undergo a transformation into a new system.
Within that new system, electricity, sustainable heat and sustainable gaseous energy carriers (green gas and hydrogen) will play a dominant role. The various sustainable options must be integrated and form a coherent whole. The gas value chain as we know it must be transformed into an energy value chain.
Curious as to what stage we are at with energy in the Netherlands? Check the facts and figures on the Energy in the Netherlands website (in Dutch).