The discovery of natural gas in Slochteren in 1959 kick started a major transition in the Dutch energy sector. The move from coal mined in Limburg to natural gas extraction in Groningen had a huge impact on both provinces in particular and the Dutch energy sector in general. After the last of the twelve coal mines in Limburg was shut in 1969, half of the workforce in Limburg was left unemployed, considered unfit, or in early retirement (NOS 2014). Political leverage of Limburg on the overall energy policy also took a hit, considering coal-fired power plants located in other provinces were no longer dependent on coal from Limburg. In Groningen, natural gas created space for thousands of jobs and allowed the region to establish itself as an energy hub, economically, politically, and academically. Gas export revenues also became a welcome addition to the national treasury.
|Publication status||Published - 2018|