Topic of this discussion paper, that Trinomics has written for the Dutch technology research centre TNO, are the Dutch-German energy relations. Until now, these are very asymmetric and mainly based on the export of Dutch gas and the transit of coal and petroleum products via the Dutch harbours to Germany. However, this might change drastically with the energy transition, when the demand for fossils in Germany as well as in the Netherlands will become far less. In the Netherlands, there is a far stronger economic drive to continue with the existing fossil relationships than in Germany. This might cause strains in the currently excellent bilateral economic relations. Problems in these relationships could be also expected if in one of the two countries political developments lead to prevalence of transition-skeptic movements, whereas in the other country the transition is continued. Understanding and preventing such possible societal strains and hurdles to energy transition requires next to technological research also intensified research into key societal aspects of this transition. If Germany and the Netherlands initiate such research together, the countries together could become a motor of a further transition and hence true ‘green-energy friends’ for the future.
Other papers written by Trinomics for TNO in this series are: