Let’s start with the bad news: The Netherlands is struggling to meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by the end of this year.
The good news: the Dutch government is actually taking this seriously. This week, the government announced it would double the amount of money available under its renewable energy subsidy program to 4 billion euros ($4.45 billion) in 2020, from a previously planned 2 billion euros. In a letter to parliament, Economic Affairs Minister Eric Wiebes said the extra money was intended to help the country meet its promise to cut carbon dioxide emissions. Separately, the government introduced a new 4,000 euro subsidy for buyers of new electric cars.
The Netherlands is among Europe’s worst performers on environmental measures and is forecast to generate just 11.4 percent of its energy from renewable sources this year. That number should rise rapidly over the next decade as major offshore wind projects and numerous smaller solar projects come online.