Suppose the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia do work out and peace soon returns to Europe. While Ukraine is destroyed and disarmed. Putin remains in office, with a few scuffles here and there on the borders of neighboring countries that armed to the teeth. In that case, how do we deal with each other from then on?
We can no longer associate with Putin, he is a war criminal. Nevertheless, we will be dependent on him for years to come, as Vivianne Heijnen made clear in an interview with our Brussels correspondent Laurens Boven. Europe wants to continue with electrification in the coming years. Three guesses where the nickel needed for those batteries comes from. Yes, right in one go: Russia.
Meanwhile, Martien Visser makes it clear that with our liberalized gas market here in The Netherlands, we have a bit of a problem. Our gas reserves are managed by commercial gas companies, which Gazprom has a substantial stake in. And it just so happens that those fields were only filled to the brim last year. New legislation could do something to change this, but then we would have to renounce our neoliberal legislation.
Oh well, by 2030 the problem will be partly solved, because by then we will have installed some magnificent mega-turbines in the North Sea. Wind turbines that local anti-wind turbine political parties should have nothing to say about, as that turned out to be a bone of contention in the Dutch municipal elections last week. Those turbines only run on wind, and not on hot air, but I hope I don’t have to explain that to you.
In the interim, who is going to relieve us of our dire energy problem? The Dutch province of Groningen and its gas fields! Auke Hoekstra has done some rather cynical but realistic calculations, he advocates: Buy out ten thousand houses that are really difficult to repair for 1 million euros each, and we will still stand to make a profit.
Or does someone else have a solution?
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