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Dutch Parliament suspends biomass subsidies

15 February 2016

The Dutch Parliament is challenging the wisdom of burning biomass for energy, voting on 2 February in favour of a resolution to suspend subsidies for biomass co-firing until a political agreement is reached regarding a total phase-out of coal.

When the Parliament called on the Government to phase out coal last December, the Government responded that coal plants should remain in operation specifically to allow them to co-fire biomass and reach renewable energy targets; this, despite the fact that 64 Dutch scientists had argued that closing coal plants should be prioritised over biomass co-firing.

It remains to be seen whether the resolution will reopen the Dutch Energy Agreement (2013), which included a commitment to close five coal plants and sustainability criteria for biomass, and which energy companies and environmental NGOs signed.

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