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NL ends subsidies for low-grade heat from bio-based raw materials

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The Dutch Government has decided to immediately stop new subsidies for woody bio-based raw materials for low-grade heat.

The decision specifically concerns the production of low-temperature heat (100oC) from woody bio-based raw materials. This heat is mainly used for heating buildings and greenhouses.

Minister Jetten for Climate and Energy said: “Bio-raw materials play an important role in achieving a climate neutral and circular economy. Bio-raw materials are crucial to become less dependent on fossil raw materials, certainly in sectors where there are limited or no sustainable alternatives.

“At the same time, the government is aware of social concerns about bio-based raw materials. That is why we have decided to immediately stop granting subsidies for woody bio-based raw materials for low-grade heat.”

The government’s approach is to use sustainable bio-based raw materials where they make the greatest contribution to sustainability and where alternatives are limited. These high-quality applications will continue to be supported.

Examples of high-quality applications include green gas as a replacement for natural gas; fuel for heavy road transport, aviation, and maritime shipping; bioconcrete, and paint using bio-based raw materials instead of fossil raw materials.

To guarantee the sustainability of the bio-based raw materials used, the Netherlands is focusing on further tightening the European sustainability criteria in the negotiations on the European Renewable Energy Directive. The government will also further tighten the certification of imported bio-based raw materials and bio-based materials.

With this decision, the government is building on the Sustainability Framework for Bio-Raw Materials that was presented to the House in October 2020 and the SER recommendation Biomass in Balance (July 2020), to which the social partners, energy sector, industry and nature and environmental organisations have contributed.