Lloyd Alter, Tree Hugger
It's part of a much bigger energy transition, and sounds a lot like wishful thinking.
Eighty-nine percent of Dutch homes are heated by natural gas fired boilers; according to Eline van den Ende, residential heating accounts for ten percent of Dutch CO2 emissions. She writes in Energypost.EU:
"At the end of 2016, the Dutch government presented its “Energy Agenda” which indicates the policies that should lead to an almost carbon-neutral economy in 2050. With regard to emissions from buildings, the two main policies are better insulation to reduce heat demand and the replacement of natural gas by alternative fuels with lower emissions. Currently every house or residence is still legally entitled to a connection to the gas grid. This law will be annulled and replaced by a “right to a heating connection”. New houses will not be connected to the gas grid anymore in any case. The 7 million existing houses will be gradually disconnected from the gas grid."
Key to this isn't just about switching fuels, but with fully forty percent of the reduction in gas consumption coming from reducing demand.
"10% of demand will still be met with condensed boilers, 15% with electric heat pumps, 15% with hybrid heat pumps, and 20% with district heating networks. The latter will be run partly on waste heat (70%) and partly on geothermal sources (30%). All of this would take a lot more electricity, and right now "only 12% of the electricity produced is green. Over 80% of electricity comes from fossil sources (coal and gas) and the rest from nuclear power and other sources."