Gazprom makes way for regional biogas in Dutch municipality of Renkum

A bicycle path made of elephant grass, blue synthetic diesel for the municipal fleet and street lighting with LED lamps. These are measures with which the municipality of Renkum has drastically reduced CO2 emissions. But in the coming years, Renkum will go much further.

"Our ambition to combat global warming is great," says alderman Joa Maouche. "We want our municipal organisation to be climate neutral by 2030. As the entire municipality of Renkum, we want to achieve this by 2040. In recent years, we have made great strides as an organisation. Between 2015 and 2019, our CO2 emissions decreased by 68 percent."
All future projects in the field of ground, road and hydraulic engineering will be carried out in a circular manner. "We can do that partly by using electric machines," says Maouche. But Renkum also wants to make progress in other areas.

Contract with Gazprom ends

Currently, the municipality still has a gas contract with the Russian Gazprom. "We want to get out of that contract as soon as possible," says the alderman, indicating that the contract ends this year. "Only from 1 January can we and the sixteen municipalities in the Arnhem-Nijmegen region switch to another supplier. The tender process will start soon."

Maouche says that gas consumption in the sixteen municipalities must be halved by 2030. "We want to compensate for the other half entirely with green gas from the region. That can be biogas from water purification, but also from the VGF fermentation plant in Nijmegen."

In the past, the municipality's electricity was generated from fossil fuels. "Since a few years we switched from grey power to green power with Dutch certificates," says Maouche. "But with the 16 municipalities of the Arnhem-Nijmegen region, we will be switching to green power from the region in the coming years."

CO2 performance ladder

Many of these energy-saving measures originated from the CO2 performance ladder in which Renkum has participated since 2015. Maouche: "It is the data that makes the difference. With this system, we force ourselves to map out where we emit CO2. And thus where we can take the most efficient energy-saving measures.