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"Dutch government takes big risks with gas policy"

This week, experts told Nieuwsuur that the supply of gas to gas-intensive sectors in the Netherlands could be under threat this winter. Glastuinbouw Nederland now responds by saying that it is still too early and too uncertain to say anything about this. However, the interest group also agrees with the statement that the Dutch government has taken a big risk with its policy choices.

The fact that there is a chance of a gas shortage does not mean that this will actually happen and certainly not when exactly, states Alexander Formsma on behalf of Glastuinbouw Nederland in a message on the website of the interest group. The severity of the winter and geopolitical developments play a role in this. In addition, it is not known who or which sector will be the first to switch off in the event of a gas shortage, or how things will work at all in such a situation.

On its website, Gasunie specifies the parameters that are taken into account when parties are disconnected. These parameters are: the size of the consignment, the geographical location, the speed at which consignments can be disconnected (and reconnected) and the consequences of the disconnection. This information can be found on the Gasunie website.

No government scenario yet
The government is currently working on a plan that must be completed at the beginning of next year. This means that there is no scenario yet. Glastuinbouw Nederland considers the combination of stopping the production of gas from Groningen in 2018, leaving the gas supply entirely to commercial parties and not having an emergency plan to be a particularly dangerous move by the government.

Glastuinbouw Nederland is therefore calling on the government to have the plan ready as soon as possible, in consultation with the sectors and experts. Glastuinbouw Nederland is currently working out various conceivable scenarios together with the government in order to determine the effects and possible directions for solutions.

All the possible consequences of a gas shortage in greenhouse horticulture have a negative impact on the financial health and investment capacity of companies in the sector and therefore on energy transition. Glastuinbouw Nederland considers it important to emphasise that there is a direct adverse effect of current energy prices, driven by a possible gas shortage, on the energy transition of greenhouse horticulture.

At RTV Drenthe, Cees Ruhé, chairman of the Drenthe and Groningen regions at Glastuinbouw Nederland, reacts. He is clear about what will happen if the worst-case scenario becomes reality: "Without gas, there is no heat. All the plants in the greenhouse will die. You will have to throw them away."

Sustainable entrepreneurs also affected
The Glastuinbouw Nederland report points out that sustainable businesses are also affected. The amount of SDE subsidy which entrepreneurs receive for geothermal projects, for example, is determined on the basis of a reference price which is based on the price of gas. To be precise, that reference for 2022 is 70% or 90% of the average of all CAL22s, depending on the decision.

The higher this reference price, the lower the subsidy, because in theory the extra costs of the sustainable alternative compared to the reference, gas, then decrease. This results in a higher price for heat.

For a number of years, Glastuinbouw Nederland has been trying to convert this reference to a reference based on the CHP spark spread, because this is a more stable factor and a reference that entrepreneurs can calculate with. Alexander: "In view of the current energy prices, we are trying to do this again. All this in cooperation with the Dutch Association of Sustainable Energy (NVDE)." Currently, plans have been presented to the Ministry of EZK, the ministry responsible for the systematics of the SDE++.

Whether or not there will be a worst-case scenario, there are concerns and the finger is pointed at The Hague. Including on social media.