WWF fear consumers will shun green energy

25th September 2008, Comments 0 comments

Reports that the European Parliament is restricting the buying of green energy and that its sustainability is a sham may put people off, warns Dutch World Wildlife Fund.

25 September 2008

THE NETHERLANDS -- The Dutch World Wildlife Fund says it is concerned consumers will be put off buying green energy; partly because of reports that its sustainability is a sham and of European Parliament’s proposals that may drastically push up the price.

This week, Labour Party MEP Dorette Corbey claimed companies supplying sustainably generated energy knew that the certificates guaranteeing their power was green were "fake". Currently, energy providers supply green energy by purchasing Guarantee of Origin certificates that can be freely traded. There are claims that this in fact allows conventionally-generated power to be sold as green.

The European Parliament is proposing legislation to restrict the certificate trading, with the aim of stimulating countries to work harder on producing extra sustainable energy instead of importing the shortfall.

The Netherlands consumes a relatively high proportion of green energy, with 2.5 million consumers purchasing sustainably generated power. But because of this high demand, a large proportion of the energy is not generated in the Netherlands. It is imported from abroad and comes from sources such as hydroelectric dams, wind farms or biomass-burning power stations in countries such as Norway, Sweden and Austria.

The European Parliament is now proposing that Dutch power companies should be prevented from simply buying in green energy, and obliged to produce more green energy in the Netherlands.

The EU target is for 20 percent of all energy to be produced by sustainable means by 2020.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, only 3 percent of energy currently produced in the Netherlands comes from sustainable sources. If the Netherlands is forced to produce more of its own green energy instead of importing extra supply to meet the demand, the price to consumers could rise dramatically. Green energy is presently subsidised in the Netherlands, but only if it is actually produced here.

On Thursday, Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer apologised for refusing to answer questions on the matter in parliament this week because she said it fell within the brief of the Economic Affairs Minister Maria van der Hoeven.

Cramer denied that Dutch green energy consumers were being swindled, but refused to go into the matter in any detail. She now says she was being too "procedural".

The World Wildlife Fund also rejects the claim that green energy consumed in the Netherlands is not genuinely produced by sustainable means. At the same time the organisation says large-scale wind farms in the North Sea are urgently needed to hike Dutch green energy production and meet the shortfall in supply.

[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

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