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Energy (Transition)

The theme of energy transition is more relevant than ever and affects everything and everyone. In the Netherlands, when we think of energy transition, we immediately envision large-scale generation of solar and wind energy through Regional Energy Strategies, the transition of existing neighbourhoods to gas-free heating with sustainable alternatives, and the use of resources like hydrogen or electricity for transportation on roads, waterways and in the air.

However, energy is globally significant and the related issues transcend our national borders. This international dimension is evident, for example, in the European 'Green Deal' on climate neutrality by 2050, where energy transition must play a crucial role.

Legal questions revolving around energy transition are often complex. After solar panels and wind farms are spatially integrated and permitted in the densely populated Netherlands, the reality is that due to capacity shortages, they can't always be connected to the electricity grid. When supply and demand for electricity become too imbalanced, it can lead to problems and high costs. In many projects, the community participates. How do you regulate that properly, and how can local residents benefit financially? The construction of sustainable new homes is delayed because building materials aren't always sustainably produced and transported due to nitrogen regulations. Industries and businesses must navigate their way toward cleaner fuels and face questions about CO₂ reduction and livability requirements from their immediate surroundings. The instruments of the new Environment and Planning Act provide guidance for addressing energy transition. However, much energy legislation is still in development.

Pels Rijcken has a team of experienced environmental law specialists who tackle various topics within the theme of energy transition with expertise. Our lawyers have an impressive track record in areas such as the realization of wind and solar parks, reducing the number of gas connections in homes, the extraction of ground energy (heat and cold storage and geothermal), the use of residual heat, promoting electric vehicles and CO₂ capture and storage (CCS). The energy transition is rightly one of our focal points.

The transition toward sustainable resources will have a significant impact on Dutch society. The required measures and projects demand societal and administrative sensitivity. Like no other, we understand the political-administrative and legal framework necessary for the realisation of sustainable energy projects. Always mindful of the (sometimes challenging) societal context.