Germany and the Netherlands want to work together on offshore energy

Germany and the Netherlands want to work together on offshore energy

Olaf Scholz (front) and Mark Rutte

The Federal Chancellor and the Dutch Prime Minister made statements after the joint talks in Rotterdam.

(Photo: Reuters)

Rotterdam The Netherlands and Germany want to work more closely together in the fields of energy and defence. A declaration adopted in Rotterdam on Monday states that a regional target for the necessary grid expansion “including hybrid interconnectors” is to be set up for offshore wind, for example. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that progress had also been made with the desired complete takeover of the German division of the Dutch power grid operator Tennet.

Scholz spoke in Rotterdam of an “initial agreement that we found today in the talks when taking over the German Tennet subsidiary”. After a conversation with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, he did not give any details. The federal government wants to take over the Tennet subsidiary completely.

Scholz had it Coalition Committee in Berlin interruptedto fly with several ministers to the fourth joint government consultations. Rutte said that 20 ministers from both countries attended the meeting. The two governments agreed that special cooperation in the field of defense should be expanded.

On Thursday, the Dutch 13th Light Brigade will be transferred to the 10th Panzer Division armed forces integrated, so that the land forces of both countries have grown together completely. Rutte said the Netherlands is also considering participation in joint armaments projects such as submarine and naval shipbuilding between Germany and Norway.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) and his Dutch counterpart Kajsa Ollongren want to seal the new chapter of cooperation on Thursday in Veitshöchheim, Lower Franconia. In 2016, Germany and the Netherlands agreed to gradually integrate the naval sea battalion into the Royal Dutch Navy. The naval protection forces, mine divers and boarding soldiers are combined in the sea battalion.

With complete integration, joint units with an established command structure are created, which can be used together in the event of an alliance. The technology should be standardized to a large extent.

According to Scholz and Rutte, other topics at the government consultations, which included Economics Minister Robert Habeck, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Finance Minister Christian Lindner and Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, included the competitiveness of the EU, the fight against climate change and migration issues.

Scholz repeatedly thanked the Netherlands for enabling Germany to switch from Russian gas to other suppliers in 2022. The reason for this is that the Netherlands had not stopped producing gas near Groningen in order to be able to supply Germany, despite the domestic political debate about earthquake risks.

No information about the purchase price for Tennet

The German takeover of the German subsidiary of the network operator Tennet is also to be a major joint project. “The common goal is to examine over the course of this summer whether a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached,” said the joint statement of the German-Dutch government consultations. Both Scholz and Rutte said that the synergies of the cooperation between the two countries in the electricity sector must be preserved in the takeover. They did not comment on the takeover price. It could be that he will talk to Scholz again about the price. The talk was between 20 and 30 billion euros. However, the necessary investments in the power grid in Germany are considered to be very high.

Last year, the investment requirements at Tennet were estimated at 35 billion euros for the company as a whole by 2035 – the German subsidiary would account for the lion’s share of around 70 percent. The recently significantly higher interest rates on the capital market make them even more expensive. Scholz said that one of the aims of the takeover was that the expansion and conversion of the power grid had to be accelerated.

More: Electricity grid operator Tennet sees an investment requirement of 111 billion euros

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