Dr. ir. M.C.A.M. (Rene) Peters, North Sea Energy programme - Written evidence (NSE0002)

The national government has agreed on overall climate targets for various sectors, such as industry, households, mobility, agriculture and power sector. This adds up to the national target of 49% GHG emission reduction in 2030. The provinces of the Netherlands have been asked to make plans to realise their contribution to this target, in particular in relation to the power sector, where a change from coal and gas fired power plants toward wind and solar poses a lot of challenges on land use and local impact. Each province is making plans for the realization of their share of the national targets. Even on a smaller scale, regions are asked to come up with a bottom up approach for realizing the targets in their region in the form of a RES (Regional Energy Strategy), where they can make their own decision for decabonisation of build environment or power generation such as heating by heat networks and geothermal energy or waste heat of heat pumps for example, or onshore wind parks or solar parks. All these RES plans are then summarized and combined to a national plan for realizing the targets for 2030 and developing energy infrastructures to match the plans. So the energy transition strategy for the Netherlands is a combination of top down (target setting, providing funds and subsidy schemes) and bottom up (realizing public support in local communities for the transition).

All stakeholders in the North Sea on energy (wind, oil and gas), economy (sand extraction, shipping, fishery) and ecology (nature protection) have signed an agreement on the further development of the North Sea which is called the North Sea Accord in 2020. They agree for every new development to discuss and agree on all the impacts of the different functions in the North Sea and seek an optimal development with minimum negative impact on ecology. On solution studied more intensively is multiple use of marine space, for example nature and biodiversity restauration in wind parks, where fishing is not allowed. Before selecting new locations for offshore wind, interests of all stakeholders are taken into account and discussed. If needed, more research is initiated to clarify impacts of new developments.