The Netherlands has been a long-standing supporter of green environmental initiatives and is ahead of many countries. Aside from the obvious environmental benefits the nation’s passion for cycling provides, there are a number of different elements that contribute to its low carbon footprint. In this article, we will investigate some of the key environmental initiatives that make this nation so eco-friendly.
Since 2018, The Netherlands has been focussed on switching energy sources and now produces over 7% of its energy from renewable sources. Although there is still quite some way to go, The Netherlands is doing very well in terms of renewable energy used in households. In 2009, it was found to have 41% of all household energy coming from renewable sources.
Unsurprisingly from a nation that is famous for its windmills, Holland is a pioneer of the development of wind energy. Currently, the nation’s power grid has plans to build the biggest wind farm in the world on a man-made island off the coast of The Netherlands. It’s land-based wind farms have powered the tech giant Microsoft in the past and already power many of Dutch homes.
The Netherlands is also a trailblazer in terms of solar energy, expanding its solar market by 60% in 2017 alone. Now, well over half a million homes run on solar energy and its popularity is still surging. A new project started by Oceans of Energy and Utrecht University will focus on converting seaweed farms into floating solar energy farms through innovative new technology and processes.
Transport and Travel
The Netherland’s flat terrain makes it perfect for cyclists and has made cycling the most popular mode of transport for many. However, it is not just the natural landscape that makes it so perfect for riding. The cities are designed with cyclists in mind and so are the laws. For example, cyclists in The Netherlands have right of way and are allowed to ride without a helmet. Additionally, Holland has made a commitment to provide 100% emissions-free busses over the next five years and they have plans to remove all gas and diesel vehicles by the year 2030.
In 2010, the Dutch government agreed to cut emissions of harmful greenhouse gasses. Currently, the aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by the end of 2020 in comparison to its emissions in 1990. That is a full 5% more than the target all nations in the EU agreed to.
From switching energy sources to transportation, you can see The Netherlands is amidst an exciting push to become a greener, more eco-friendly nation. Plus, with the surging prices of fossil fuels, homeowners in The Netherlands are sure to have the opportunity to save money while also doing their bit to help the environment.