The incoming Dutch coalition government said on Thursday that it will aim to expand offshore natural gas extraction and nuclear energy production to reduce the Netherlands’ dependence on “unreliable countries”, according to Reuters.

In the draft coalition pact seen by Reuters, the government said it would “do as much as possible” to stick to any international climate goals it had already agreed to, but it would not add any national restrictions on top of them.

Dutch energy security has been a point of focus for the four political parties in the prospective government, following the challenges the country has faced after losing access to Russian gas following the start of the Ukraine war in 2022.

The draft pact said new “long term contracts will be struck for natural gas in order to build reserves of gas and critical commodities”.

Production at the large gas field under the Dutch province of Groningen will remain shut, but “gas production in the North Sea will be scaled up”.

Reuters added that according to the draft pact, the country’s plans to expand offshore wind appear to be unchanged, but construction of new wind turbines on land will be deprioritised.

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The pact also ensured commitment to increasing nuclear energy production, stating: “The nuclear reactor in Borssele will remain open, and the construction of two new reactors will continue.

“In addition, two more nuclear reactors will be built, with the possibility of multiple small reactors” in public-private partnerships, it said.

In March 2024, the incumbent Dutch Government announced plans to build four new nuclear power plants by 2040. Earlier in February, it awarded US-based Westinghouse Electric Company a contract to conduct a technical feasibility study for the potential deployment of two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at the Borssele nuclear power plant site. 

The country currently has one operable reactor, located at the Borssele site, that produces 482MW of electricity, around 3% of total generation. The plant was opened in 1973.