The Netherlands could become a gas importer within the next decade, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.
Following its latest in-depth review of Dutch energy policies, the IEA found gas production from the nation’s giant Groningen field is declining and outlook for domestic unconventional gas “remains uncertain”. As a result, the Netherlands is expected to shift from a net exporter to a net importer of gas by 2025.
The nation also lags behind its national target for renewable energy sources, with the share of renewables in the final energy consumption since 2005 increasing from 2.3% to just 4.5% in 2013 – still far from its ambitious target of 14% by 2020, according to the report.
While the IEA commends the nation’s renewed focus on energy efficiency and investment in energy infrastructure, the Netherlands remains one of the most fossil fuel intensive economies among IEA member countries and is being urged to step up its decarbonisation efforts.
The report found the share of fossil fuels in the energy mix in the Netherlands is above 90% – linked to its use in industries, including petrochemical, iron and steel and agriculture.
Maria van der Hoeven, IEA Executive Director said: “Promoting lower-carbon energy use, especially in industry and transport, makes economic sense and can improve both sustainability and competitiveness.”
The IEA is calling on the Government of the Netherlands to develop a longer term, consistent energy policy framework for 2030 and investing in energy efficient building and promoting it in industry and the heat sector.
It also suggests the nation to continue to “actively engage” with North-West European electricity and gas markets and across the EU on sustainable energy supply.