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The importance that the Dutch people attach to climate

The importance that the Dutch people attach to climate

Source: Dutch government

Commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK), research agency Kantar conducted a flash survey of the importance that the Dutch people attach to climate and the things that are already being done with regard to sustainability and sustainable behaviour.

Few conclusions:

  • More than seven in ten Dutch people (72%) are (much) concerned about the climate.
  • For most Dutch people (81%), their opinion on climate issues has not been influenced by the corona crisis.
  • More than four in ten Dutch people (42%) know what they can do for a better climate, but find it difficult to apply this.

I find this a remarkable (positive) result that I did not expect. Read more ….

Solar Magazine: “Dutch Minister Wiebes: ‘Grid operators do not have to compensate citizens for switching off solar panels’ ……….”

Solar Magazine: “Dutch Minister Wiebes: ‘Grid operators do not have to compensate citizens for switching off solar panels’ ……….”

An article that you should be well aware of.

In any case, it shows that local home/neighborhood electricity storage is becoming increasingly important.

It is also important to register solar panels in time.

According to Solar Magazine: “The grid operators have recently renewed the website energieleveren.nl. This has also changed the way in which owners must register their solar panels with their grid operator. Dutch Minister Wiebes asks consumers to register on time: ‘It is an obligation in the Electricity Network Code for consumers and companies to report the installation of solar panels. That is why I call on private individuals to always contact the network operator in advance to obtain the most up-to-date information. The network operators depend on these signals to be able to take into account any necessary adjustments at an early stage.’….”.

Read more ….

May 27, 2020: IEA: “The COVID-19 crisis is causing the biggest fall in global energy investment in history”

May 27, 2020: IEA: “The COVID-19 crisis is causing the biggest fall in global energy investment in history”

A disconcerting message as this could have negative consequences for the required sustainable energy growth. On the other hand, the COVID-19 crisis may help us with a more stronger focus on a sustainable world where solar and wind power are important building blocks for our future.

Yes, we realise that when the balance sheets of large energy firms are affected, this may cause an impact on sustainable energy investment. However, decentralised sustainable energy generation, by investments of individual home owners, SME’s and housing corporations can provide the positive push our society needs.

Read more of the IEA press release by clicking here ……

Global scale-up of Solar and Wind energy and what’s ahead of us?

Global scale-up of Solar and Wind energy and what’s ahead of us?

The research company BloombergNEF (BNEF) opened a recent article with the following sentences: “Solar PV and onshore wind are now the cheapest sources of new-build generation for at least two-thirds of the global population.” And they continued in the same paragraph: “Battery storage is now the cheapest new-build technology for peaking purposes (up to two-hours of discharge duration) in gas-importing regions, like Europe, China or Japan.”.

Reading BNEF’s research it confirmed our own views that a major structural change in our energy system is happening. The International Energy Agency (IEA) in a separate article not only emphasised the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has created the largest shock to the global energy system in more than seven decades, but is also observing a major shift towards low-carbon sources of electricity. IEA states in a recent message: “low-carbon sources are set to extend their lead this year to reach 40% of global electricity generation”.

Affordable battery storage will significantly enhance the integration of decentralised sustainable energy generation on a large scale, providing nice benefits to individual households and businesses.

Very interesting reports and news facts and hence we recommend you to read the following:

IRENA (April 2020): Global Renewables Outlook

IRENA (April 2020): Global Renewables Outlook

IRENA’s Global Renewables Outlook, issued April 2020, presents various interesting scenarios; also in the context of global economic stimulus and recovery plans due to the COVID-19 crisis. Please click here for further information.

The challenges of ensuring sustainability, strengthening resilience and improving people’s health and welfare cannot be viewed in isolation but should be addressed from an holistic point of view. The health-, humanitarian-,  and economic crises, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, should accelerate the decarbonisation of our societies, as it presents all sorts of opportunities. See also our blog published on April 19th; click here for more information.

Our collective memory, and the focus on integral and preventive solutions

Our collective memory, and the focus on integral and preventive solutions

Much has already been written about the Corona virus. ‘And the last thing I want to do is to howl with the wolves in the forest’. That is so easy and happens far too often when watching the media every day. It is good to see that there are many positive news facts, and that people are trying to come up with creative solutions, within the preconditions set by the government. It is clear that difficult times have yet to come, but with a positive mindset, we must be able to work collectively on this.

We often assume that health is a given until something goes wrong. This “thinking in denial” applies both on a personal level and now also on a global scale. A former colleague of mine sent a very interesting link, in which Bill Gates warned about real outbreaks of global viruses in 2015, so 5 years ago; Click here for more details. If you listen well to his speech and let his words sink in, various questions arise.

Do we never learn from past incidents? As an ultramodern society, are we unable to pick up signals at an early stage through smart KPIs? Why is our collective memory often so short? Look at the advices of the Club of Rome in 1972. I can still remember the SARS outbreak in 2002/2003, and all the precautionary measures, but what have we learned from this?

I imagine that questions will be asked to WHO and related organisations that we have set up to inform us in time about the outbreak of disease and its prevention. We are now clearly in a “firefighting mode” (and fortunately we are good at that in the Netherlands), but what can we do preventively to limit these kinds of situations on this mega-scale?

In another area, but it also concerned a global crisis, I sometimes reflect on the period 2008-2009 when the financial crisis started with all its consequences. Have we really learned from this crisis? And sufficiently implemented new responsible business models and preconditions? I’m personally happy with the leadership shown by the Dutch Government. Of course you can always make critical comments about what they do and say. “The best helmsmen are always ashore”. But the Government takes action and communicates.

So let’s learn from this tragic global health crisis that costs many lives, has made many people sick, and all the follow-up health issues that will come because people, young and old, feel limited in their freedom, with all its consequences.

This crisis once again shows how “small” our world has become; on the one hand because of how easy it is to get on a plane and be on the other side of the world within 12 hours. And the ease with which we import and export business with all the associated risks. Apart from the fact that via internet and TV we now see exactly how it is ‘in the world’. That quickly brings everything into your own living room. But is everything brought objectively and neutral?

This Coronavirus crisis has parallels with the climate problem. After all, CO2 and fine dust issues are not limited to one country either. Greenhouse gas emissions anywhere in the world affect us all. So if we really want to reduce CO2 emissions, we need to collaborate much more internationally. CO2 simply “blows” across national borders. Of course we take action in our own country. However, these actions only have real effect if everyone also takes (international) action.

What worries me are the messages I have been reading lately: “no time for sustainability or anything else for now; first solve the Coronavirus problem”. Of course, the focus should be on our health and protecting humanity. But that focus also applies to fighting poverty, effectively addressing climate change issues, properly addressing the financial concerns of many people around the world, and making our society and living environment truly safe.

The media now reports daily the numbers of people who have died in a country as a result of the Corona virus. It is good to know as it keeps us on our toes to eliminate the virus as soon as possible. However, from now on let’s also publish more often the numbers of people worldwide who have died as a result of air pollution and other unwanted causes. I realise that death due to air pollution has followed a different timeline than the much shorter Corona virus agony. But still: we need to be much more aware of the less immediately visible consequences of our daily actions.

Let’s talk to each other about our collective involvement in bringing our society to a higher level. If not for ourselves, then for our children and grandchildren. We owe it to them to do everything in our power to improve our wellbeing; only together can we do this. Hopefully this time we will learn the right lessons from everything we have recently experienced. I will continue to do my best in my humble way and hope to make a good contribution.

Thijs Aarten, involved in social and sustainability initiatives.

Knowledge Platform EMV provides answers to questions about electric and/or magnetic fields

Knowledge Platform EMV provides answers to questions about electric and/or magnetic fields

By making our home more sustainable and with the introduction of the electric car, we are introducing all kinds of new technologies into our lives. Thinking of for instance solar panels and associated inverters, heat pumps, electric cooking, use of apps to monitor energy consumption, the electric car with battery, charging points for electric cars, etc. When installing an Energy Management System (EMS), various devices in our home will communicate with each other via wireless connections.

These useful devices, aimed at a sustainable society, cause electric fields and/or magnetic fields. By the way, our TV, the computer and other electrical devices do that too. This can raise questions such as: how strong are these fields? Do the electromagnetic fields have potential negative health effects?

Fortunately, we have an independent Knowledge Platform in the Netherlands, the Knowledge Platform ElectroMagnetic Fields and Health (EMV), which provides clear answers and information to public questions or concerns. The Knowledge Platform EMV includes: RIVM, TNO, DNV GL, GGD GHOR Netherlands, Telecom Agency, ZonMw and Milieu Centraal. The Health Council of the Netherlands has an advisory function.

For information about the electrical appliances in our home and/or other subjects, please refer to: https://www.kennisplatform.nl/huis-machines-en-vervoer/

For more general information; click here.

Production of sustainable electricity in the Netherlands has risen / strong growth solar power in 2019

Production of sustainable electricity in the Netherlands has risen / strong growth solar power in 2019

In an article published today, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) states:
“In 2019, electricity production from renewable sources amounted to 21.8 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), in 2018 this was 18.5 billion kWh. Windmills had the largest share of this, at 49 percent, but this has fallen compared to 2018 (54 percent). Biomass accounted for 26 percent, solar power for 24 percent of renewable energy production. Renewable electricity production accounted for 18 percent of electricity consumption in the Netherlands in 2019, compared to 15 percent in 2018. ”

CBS further concludes:
“40 percent more solar power through more solar panels. The production of electricity with solar panels increased from 3.7 billion kWh in 2018 to 5.2 billion kWh in 2019. That is an increase of more than 40 percent, which is directly related to the increase in the installed capacity of solar panels. The total capacity of solar panels grew by approximately 2 400 megawatts in 2019, and is estimated at 6 900 megawatts. The largest part of this increase (70 percent, or 1 700 megawatt) is due to new, large installations on roofs of buildings and on the ground. ”

Read more ….