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NPF highlights

Download the full NPF documents:

English translation: netherlands npf.en.pdf

Original language: netherlands npf.pdf

Download the National Implementation Report 2019:

Netherlands NIR

NPF highlights and 2019 NPF reporting on implementation highlights

On this page, we provide relevant information on the topic of alternative fuels vehicles, infrastructure or support measures as provided in the National Policy Framework (NPF) as well as the 2019 Reporting by the Member States on the NPF implementation.

According to Art. 10(1) of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive, each Member State shall submit to the European Commission a report on the implementation of its National Policy Framework on a tri-annual basis, and for the first time by or before 18 November 2019. Those Reports must contain a description of the measures taken in the reporting Member State in support of alternative fuels infrastructure build-up. An overview of the Reports notified by [Member State] and received by the Commission to date is provided here below (download section), including an English translation where applicable.

The highlights for all National Policy Framework follow more or less the same structure: we first explain the modelling approach where one has been provided, we then explain the objectives or key focus areas of the NPF and then provide an overview of the key messages for those alternative fuels with distinct infrastructure requirements for which Member States had to develop national targets according to the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (electricity, hydrogen, LPG, CNG and LNG - therefore not covering for instance biofuels or synthetic fuels. The highlights are extracts from the NPF documents. These highlights should not be considered summaries of the NPFs. For a full and  complete overview, we  advise to read the NPF documents


Highlights 2019 Reporting on the NPF implementation 

There are currently two approaches of importance for the construction of alternative refuelling and charging infrastructure in the Netherlands. A National Charging Infrastructure Action Plan is to be drawn up, mapping the national requirements and actions with respect to the electric charging infrastructure. Now that the broad outlines of an energy and climate agreement exist, this will be converted into an investment programme for the fuel vision. This will be an ‘Implementation and Investment Plan for Innovative Energy Carriers of the Future’, and should be ready by the end of the year.

Joint procurement is used for large-scale procurement of public electric charging infrastructure. Provinces, municipalities or metropolitan regions use joint procurement for the installation of recharging points. In 2017 and 2018, this yielded considerable advantages in the form of advantages of scale and a better business case. Under large-scale procurement, the recharging point operator pays for the right of use. In this way, public authorities and market participants both invest in public charging infrastructure. This holds out the prospect that the public authorities will need to invest less as the market for electric vehicles grows.

Electricity: the public charging infrastructure for road transport has already exceeded the target under the AFID National Policy Plan of 25 000 recharging points. With the development of the vehicle fleet and the Government’s objective to sell only electric cars from 2030, demand for 1.7 million recharging points by 2030 (public, semi-public and private) is taken into account. The Climate Agreement has the ambition to sell only zero-emission passenger cars in the Netherlands by 2030 (100% of all new registrations). The Central Government is committed to renewing its own vehicle fleet. Its aim is to have 20% to 25% electric vehicles in its vehicle fleet by 2020. There are ambitions to accelerate this. In 2018, the Central Government procured a further 600 electric vehicles, following the 100 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) previously procured.

There has already been good progress in the number of shore-side electricity supply points in inland ports for inland shipping: in 2018, there were 280 points. Shore-side electricity supply points for maritime shipping are currently available at four ports, although it should be noted that the installation in Den Helder is for defence purposes and the installation in the Hook of Holland has been constructed specifically for ferries.

There are still no fully electric inland waterway vessels on the market which run exclusively on electricity from batteries. On the other hand, the first applications are being developed of propulsion using mobile energy containers (MECs). Used MECs can be replaced with fully charged MECs at container terminals. There are specific plans for market launch. This technology is therefore still at the research stage, but with specific plans for introduction.

In 2019, a first vessel (SENDO shipping) was commissioned with a battery pack of 560 kWh. This vessel can run for a few hours on electricity. There are a further two such vessels under construction. The Climate Agreement aims for a minimum of 150 zero-emission inland waterway vessels by 2030. It is still unclear which proportion of these vessels will be battery-electric or fuel cell-electric.

Hydrogen: As of 2018, there are four hydrogen refuelling points accessible to the public. However, a number of initiatives have been taken by public authorities and/or market participants, for example for public transport buses to run on hydrogen. Consequently, there will shortly be at least an additional 11 refuelling stations which should be operational in 2020. The aim is to increase their number to 20 in 2020. Hydrogen sales in road transport are not currently centrally monitored. The share will be fairly small, given the small number of cars in circulation (see Commercial hydrogen production in the Netherlands is currently grey, i.e. fossil. This grey hydrogen is produced from gas by means of steam reforming (SMR) or electrolysis. Hydrogen in the mobility sector is usually green, thanks to the use of green certificates at the existing H2 refuelling stations. ‘Blue hydrogen’, whereby the CO2 is captured during the SMR process and stored underground, is not available so far on the Dutch market.

Natural gas - CNG: The number of CNG passenger cars, at 4 000 vehicles in 2019, is still small, but growing (in the past 3 years by about 10% per year). The number of CNG delivery vans, at 2 604 vehicles in 2019, was small, but growing (from 1 500 vehicles in 2016 to 2 600 vehicles in 2019). The number of CNG trucks and tractive units, at about 400 vehicles in 2019, is still very small.

Natural gas – LNG: In 2019, there were also 433 LNG trucks and/or tractive units. The target of the platform is 3 500 to 7 000 LNG trucks by 2030. So far, LNG has not yet taken off in the way hoped for a number of years ago. Each year, the fleet is growing by about 100 vehicles. This is mainly attributable to disappointing business cases. The number of CNG refuelling stations is still rising and increased in 2017-2018. There is already a nationwide network and the low energy tax makes it a cheap fuel. CNG vehicles are therefore on the increase. The aim is to maintain this network.

The deployment of LNG refuelling infrastructure, as well as the number of vehicles, is increasing steadily. The Netherlands now has an adequate refuelling infrastructure for heavy-duty road transport (27 refuelling stations) in an incipient market deployment phase. This number is expected to grow to 30 by 2025.

For maritime shipping, there is only one flexible bunkering facility for LNG, although two flexibly deployable bunkering pontoons are being developed. With a view to enabling the movement of inland waterway vessels along the TEN- V core network, the aim is set out in the National Policy Plan to achieve six fixed and seven mobile bunkering points by 2030. At present, i.e. the beginning of 2020, there are six mobile bunkering points and one fixed point in Doesburg.


Highlights NPF (date of adoption: November 2016)

The Energy Agreement: The active involvement of companies and their employees in social-economic policy is enshrined in Dutch law, specifically the Social and Economic Council Act 1950 (amended). Through the Social and Economic Council (SER), the private sector takes on certain advisory and administrative tasks. It is in this context that various stakeholders and the government produced the Energy Agreement, published in September 2013. Over a two-year period (2014 and 2015) more than one hundred organizations were involved in refining the sections of the Energy Agreement which apply specifically to the mobility and transport sector (the “Green Deal”).

The Energy Agreement sets out some ambitious targets in terms of mobility and transport:

• By 2050, the CO2 emissions produced by the transport sector are to have been

cut by 60% (compared to the 1990 reference level).

• From 2035, all new passenger cars sold will be (CO2) emission-free.

• From 2050, this requirement will apply to all passenger cars on the roads. 

In April 2015, and following on from the 2012 ‘Green Deal Zero Emissions in Bus Transport’, an administrative agreement was signed between central government, the Association of Provinces of the Netherlands (IPO), the metropolitan region of Rotterdam-The Hague and the Greater Amsterdam Region. It sets out the joint ambition to make all regional public transport bus services entirely emissions-free by 2030, or sooner if possible. In addition, the signatories have undertaken:

- to purchase only zero-emission buses (as measured ‘tank-to-wheel’) from the year 2025.

- to ensure that all buses used in 2025 run on 100% renewable fuels or energy, and that the production of this energy should support regional economic development.

- to include ‘well-to-wheel’ CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometre as a key selection criteria when granting public transport concessions.

Electric: The government, societal partners and market parties wish to achieve further growth with electric vehicles accounting for at least 50% of new sales in 2025, 30% being fully electric. The partners have also set an interim target for 2020, when at least 10% of all new vehicles sold should have an electric drive line. The use of a shore-side electricity supply is commonplace among inland shipping operators. Almost the entire western European fleet has the equipment needed to ‘plug in’ when moored in port. In 2010, Rotterdam was the first port authority to require moored vessels to use the shore-side electricity supply. Sixty per cent of ports in the Netherlands now offer the necessary facilities. Of the 75 largest inland ports, 45 offer shore-side electricity. Nationwide, a total of 553 connections are available. Of those ports which have not yet implemented shore-side electricity, approximately one third are planning to do so in the foreseeable future. The aim is to ensure that shore-side electricity is available in the 75 most important inland ports (as measured by transhipment volume: > 1 million tons p.a. in 2006).

Six ports have already announced plans to install shore-side electricity facilities.

The overall target is 100% in the 75 most important inland ports by 2025. Most of the Netherlands’ Maritime harbour complexes, such as Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Groningen Seaports, Zeeland Seaports, Moerdijk, IJmuiden and Harlingen have for many years provided a low voltage (<440V) shore-side electricity supply for the use of inland waterway vessels, fishing boats and smaller tugs. In recent years, it has sometimes proven advantageous to offer a high-voltage (>6,6kV) shore-side supply to larger maritime vessels as well.

Hydrogen: It will be necessary to create a network of hydrogen refuelling points in parallel with the introduction of the first hydrogen-powered vehicles (mostly commercial) which will use those refuelling points. It will then be possible to move slowly but surely towards a convincing business case whereby supply is in line with demand. The ambition is to have 2,000 hydrogen-fuelled cars on Dutch roads by 2020. A network of twenty refuelling stations would then have an initial customer base of one hundred cars each, as well as buses, delivery vans, trucks and utility vehicles (such as refuse collection vehicles) where possible. Forecasts for hydrogen fuelled vehcles by 2020: 2000 cars/small commercial vehicles, 20 trucks and utility vehicles, 100 public transport buses, with refuelling facilities at depots.

CNG: Between January 2012 and January 2016, the number of vehicles in the Netherlands which run on natural gas increased from 4,600 to over 11,000.

At the start of 2016 there were 145 filling stations supplying natural gas and/or green gas. The network for this type of alternative fuel may therefore be said to have nationwide coverage. Although ‘alternative’, CNG remains a fossil fuel. As such, it must be seen as a ‘transition fuel’ on the way to the attainment of the long-term climate and energy objectives. The sustainable version of CNG – biogas or green gas – offers even greater potential and, until the year 2030 or thereabouts, can play a significant part in reducing mobility-related CO2 emissions in a cost-efficient manner.

LNG: The Green Deal ‘LNG Rhine and Wadden’ was agreed in 2012. The purpose is to promote the use of LNG in all (heavy) transport segments: maritime, inland shipping, fishing and road transport (trucks). The intention is that LNG usage should have achieved enough critical mass by 2020 to allow further, independent development. The volume target of 2.5 million tons is based on the ambitions of the various stakeholders, as stated in the Green Deal LNG Rhine and Wadden. LNG would then replace some 10% to 15% of the diesel usage in the transport sector. At present, the number of inland waterway vessels which run on LNG is relatively small. Between 2010 and 2014, only five vessels opted to convert to an LNG propulsion system. Based on recent reports and the current market situation, however, approximately forty inland vessels with an engine running on LNG are expected to be in use by 2020. Suppliers of LNG report that they are planning to implement permanent bunkering points at Nijmegen, Lelystad, Eemshaven, Harlingen, Den Helder and Rotterdam. Based on current market developments in Maritime shipping, the Dutch government intends to implement four bunkering vessels to serve the TEN-T core network before 2025. These vessels will supply LNG in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Moerdijk, Eemshaven, Harlingen and Den Helder. Maritime vessels fuelled by LNG can already make use of mobile bunkering points in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Moerdijk.