The province of Drenthe is seeking 152 million euros from the Dutch government to invest in the post-natural gas economy.
Translation by Traci White
Drenthe aldermen Henk Brink (VVD) and Tjisse Stelpstra (ChristenUnie) presented the plan to the director general of the ministry of economic affairs, Sandor Gaastra, at the provincial house in Assen on Wednesday.
Hydrogen and biogas
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that the province wants to be prepared for the next phase of the energy industry once natural gas extraction ends in the region. A portion of the funding, 30 million euros, would be allocated toward making the transition to greener energy sources which can still use the existing pipeline infrastructure, such as hydrogen and biogas.
Drenthe is also interested in setting up a research institution focused on underground resources, including geothermal heating, which would cost around 2 million euros. An additional 10 million euros would go toward further developing work experience projects for students at Drenthe College.
The vast majority of the requested funding – 110 million euros – would go toward further developing a circular economy in the region, specifically how to better reuse plastics and how to make plastics from organic materials. NHL Stenden in Emmen and Attero in Wijster are named as examples of existing programmes and projects where the money could be put to good use.
The motivation behind the request is the likelihood that up to 7,000 jobs could be lost in the province due to the accelerated deadline to end natural gas extraction, many of which are held by highly educated people working at NAM’s headquarters in Assen.
The Northern Times has a new podcast – Econ 050 – about the economy in the north, and one of our first episodes will be a conversation with professor Machiel Mulder all 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. You can find the podcast on iTunes and right here on the Northern Times site at econ050.northerntimes.nl