The Netherlands is at the forefront of promoting sustainable heating in Europe and the share of new buildings that are not connected to the country’s gas grid may soon approach 100%.

Netbeheer Nederland, the Dutch association of national and regional power network operators, has revealed that approximately 90.1% of new buildings erected last year are not connected to the gas network in the service areas of grid operators Liander, Enexis Netbeheer and Stedin.

A year earlier, this percentage had reached around 87%. “The number of applications to disconnect existing homes from natural gas is also increasing,” the organization said. “For example, households are switching to all-electric as a sustainable alternative.”

Netbeheer Nederland specified that the 10% of new homes built last year that were still linked to the gas grid were granted this possibility as their environmental permit was filed before 1 July 2018. “In addition, municipalities still have the option of granting an exemption for new construction projects after 1 July 2018, for example when solutions other than natural gas are technically impossible,” it added.

The association also said that around 3,000 homes per week will have to be made more sustainable by 2030 if the country’s climate targets have to be achieved. “This is an enormous task, especially due to the chronic shortage of technical personnel,” it explained.

In April, Netbeheer Nederland formed an alliance with Techniek Nederland, the national association of electric installers, and environmental association Natuur & Milieu to develop a plan to install at least 100,000 hybrid heat pumps in homes and buildings every year from 2024. The HR-Hybrid Coalition has urged the Dutch government to allocate €600 million for the plan, which envisages the deployment of up to 2 million hybrid heat pumps before 2030, which would generate CO2 savings of up to 2.6 megatons.