The city of Assen and six municipalities in the province of Groningen will receive 33 million euros from the federal government to take more homes off the gas grid.
Translation by Traci White
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that interior minister Kajsa Ollongren is allocating more than a quarter of the available 120 million euros for creating natural gas-free neighbourhoods to the north.
In Assen, 4.2 million euros will be spent taking 450 homes in the De Lariks neighbourhood off the gas grid. In the province of Groningen, Appingedam (7.4 million euros for Opwierde Zuid), Delfzijl (4.5 million), Loppersum (3 million for Loppersum, ‘t Zandt and Weremden combined), Oldambt (4.8 million for Nieuwolda and Wagenborgen) and Pekela (4 million for Boven Pekela and Doorsneebuurt). While natural gas extraction occurs across the province, Loppersum, Appingedam and Oldambt in particular have been especially effected by induced earthquakes.
City of Groningen
In the city of Groningen, Selwerd and Paddepoel will be given 4.8 million euros to become gasless. Both neighbourhoods were already undergoing infrastructure upgrades that would make them suitable testing grounds for gasless homes. In Selwerd, the Duindoorn student flat block is undergoing renovations and will no longer be connected to the gas network when tenants move in.
Plans to allocate the funding were made known in July, but a total of 90 million euros was announced at the time for 20 municipalities. There were ultimately 27 municipalities selected for a pilot to replace the natural gas infrastructure inside residential properties.
In an effort to meet the Paris Climate Accord goals, the current government cabinet intends to transition between 30,000 and 50,000 residences a year to gas-free homes. Ollongren says that a second batch of funding will be made available next year for more homes to go off the gas grid. But it is not exactly free money: residents living in apartments that no longer use gas will likely be paying around 50 euros more a month.
Even if residents are no longer using gas in their homes, does that actually mean that they are truly off the gas grid? The Northern Times is launching a new podcast – Econ 050 – about the economy in the north, and one of our first episodes will be a conversation about the future of natural gas in the region, continued dependence on gas as an electricity source and the role of the Dutch state in the industry. The podcast will be dropping soon, so be sure to keep an eye on the site for the launch!