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NPF highlights

Download the full NPF documents:

English translation: netherlands npf.en.pdf

Original language: netherlands npf.pdf


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), in principle as an extract from the NPF, with some additions to give context where necessary. These highlights should not be considered summaries of the NPFs. For a full and  complete overview, we  advise to read the NPF document itself

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 LPG, biofuels or synthetic fuels. 


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.