Debate about gas savings

Friday October 9, 2015 13:31

Our independent position and expertise allows us to advise various organizations. Greenpeace commissioned ECN to investigate options for using less gas in the Netherlands. New energy saving initiatives can reduce gas extraction to 40%. A conversation with Joris Wijnhoven, Climate and Energy campaign leader at Greenpeace.

“Due to the increase in earthquakes in the province of Groningen, we are debating gas extraction in the Netherlands. In our opinion, the discussion is too focused on the question of 'if we don't extract gas from Groningen, where should we extract it from?’. Greenpeace would rather have a debate about energy savings. What measures need to be taken to ensure that far less gas will need to be extracted in Groningen by 2020?”

All options on the agenda
“We asked ECN to identify all potential savings initiatives for gas and calculate the effects of each. Examples include insulating homes and industrial measures. This request is of particular importance for ECN, because they usually calculate the impact of existing or proposed policies. This time, Greenpeace asked them to calculate measures that are technically possible, but may not seem feasible in practice. We want to put all the options on the agenda. In workshops with ECN, we quickly compiled a list of measures which could save at least 10 billion cubic metres of gas. That is a quarter of all gas from Groningen – an enormous saving.”

Impact in The Hague
“The report on gas savings has made an impact. All NOS morning news programmes and specialised media have reported on it and there was a debate about it in the Dutch House of Representatives. Moreover, a motion was accepted requesting the Government to respond to the report and comment on each of the savings measures. Minister Henk Kamp must incorporate our insights in his plan for Groningen. He will have to take the options on our list into consideration, since we will be unable to achieve the Energy Agreement objectives in the Netherlands.”

The power of objectivity 
“The strength of our report is its objectivity. ECN has investigated all possibilities and reported on them. These also include measures that would not immediately be attractive to Greenpeace. In order to increase the impact of the report, we spoke to umbrella organisations for sustainable energy early in the process. We are therefore more confident that we have the right measures.”

Category: Oktober