Revolution in gas country the Netherlands: the Dutch government wants all residential buildings to be off gas in 2050. The objective is to reduce CO2 emissions from the built environment. But does phasing out gas deliver the expected results? Eline van den Ende spoke to experts and concludes that a ‘gas-less’ society makes sense only if additional measures are taken. Unthinkable just a few years ago, but reality today. The Netherlands, a long-time major gas producer in which virtually all houses are connected to the gas grid, wants to remove gas as source of heating and cooking for all residential buildings. The main reason is that the government wants to reduce CO2 emissions from the built environment by 80% in 2050. The first steps are already being taken. 31 municipalities, including the largest cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht, have signed a ‘Green Deal’ for ‘gas-less neighbourhoods’, which will lead to the first residential districts being disconnected from the grid over the next two years. Many more will follow in the coming decades. So how does the Netherlands intend to heat its homes in 2050 if not by gas? The KVGN – the Royal Association of Gas Companies in the Netherlands, which includes major parties such as Shell and transmission system operator Gasunie – earlier this year presented a vision (Dutch-language link) in which it indicated how the Netherlands can get rid of its gas addiction. As you can see in the graph below, according to the association, demand should decrease by 40% as a result of better insulation. 10% of demand will still be met with condensed boilers, 15% with electric heat pumps, 15% with hybrid heat pumps, and 20% with district heating networks. The latter will be run partly on waste heat (70%) and partly on geothermal sources (30%). The question is, how effective will these alternatives be in reducing CO2 emissions? And how much will they cost? We will take a look at the alternatives in turn.
Energy Collective 7th June 2017 read more »