TAQA starts constructing gas storage near Bergen

After a decision of the Council of State, energy company Taqa is allowed to start building one of Europe’s largest gas depots in the Bergermeer area. Herman Snoep of ECN explained on the radio that underground gas storage is a solution to the difference in gas need between summer and winter. Such a solution is needed now that the Dutch gas supply is running out and needs to be imported from far away locations.

Source: Tros Nieuwsshow.

Artist’s impression of the gas treatment installation that will be located at the Boekelermeer Zuid Business Park in Alkmaar Source Taqa Energy  Bron: Taqua Energy

Read the explanation of Jeroen de Joode, policy researcher and gas coordinator:

On request of businesses and authorities, ECN calculates the demand for gas in various future scenarios. Examples include an outlook on the future need for gas storage in North-West Europe (a project for GasTerra) and an analysis of the need for new investments in gas infrastructure in the EU in relation to various future perspectives for sustainable energy (a project for the European Commission). Moreover, ECN supports the Dutch government in realising its ambition of becoming the gas hub of (North-West) Europe.

Best alternative

Against this background, I have previously explained the usefulness and necessity of gas storage to members of the Dutch Lower Chamber in round table discussions. Now, that gas storage will finally be realised in the Bergermeer.  This is a good thing: the investment will benefit ‘The Netherlands, Inc.’ and the objections of opponents have been sufficiently addressed. Today, the need for flexibility in gas supply to small users is mostly covered by the Groningen gas field, which supplies large amounts of gas in winter and small amounts in summer. However, once the Groningen gas field is slowly running out, this will no longer be possible. This is why a new solution is needed. One option could be to increase the transport capacity of pipelines from Norway or Russia, but this is much too expensive and the majority of this capacity would only be used in the winter. Large-scale gas storage is the best alternative.

Gas hub

What is important about the radio interview is that Herman Snoep pointed out that the gas storage will serve a cross-border market: the British will also use it, for example. This is the core of the Dutch gas hub: The Netherlands is delivering all kinds of gas market services, because it better positioned to do so than other countries, and the Dutch economy benefits from it. The Netherlands is earning much money from selling natural gas to foreign countries, and will continue to do so in the future by offering gas storage services.

Read the report on Developments on the Northwestern European market for seasonal gas storage.