Denmark and the Netherlands have cooperated on the green energy transition since 2019 mainly focussing on regulatory frameworks for district heating, and energy efficiency in buildings. Both countries have ambitious 2030 climate goals and a joint cooperation creates new green opportunities.
The energy transition
The Netherlands aims at reducing CO2 emissions by 55-60 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Today, over a third of the country’s total energy consumption is based on natural gas, and 90 per cent of all households are connected to the natural gas network. With the Netherlands looking to phase out natural gas from residential buildings, a strengthened focus on district heating and energy efficiency is central to the Dutch energy transition.
As a result of a relatively high population density, Denmark has historically had good conditions for district heating and succeeded in building a unique district heating system with a main focus on low consumer prices. The expansion of district heating has supported and still does support Denmark’s long-term climate goals.
The Dutch-Danish energy cooperation focuses on exchanging knowledge between national authorities. The main exchange is on the regulatory frameworks, technical and financial aspects of district heating, and energy efficiency in buildings. In addition, the cooperation involves Dutch think tanks and local authorities to ensure the distribution of Danish experiences at the implementation level.
The knowledge-sharing concerning the green transition is a two-ways street. The Netherlands is already far in the development of technologies and knowledge within e.g., Power-to-X solutions and international cooperation on energy islands. Therefore, Denmark can learn from the Dutch experiences, which can contribute to the fulfilment of the Danish climate goals. The Dutch-Danish energy cooperation is a prime example of how global cooperation increases the effect of national efforts within the green transition.