column | However it is nice to live in Groningen

You keep hearing that Groningen is very far from The Hague. This is correct. I think it applies also to Limburg, and even to Zeeland, which is not very far from The Hague, but where facilities are scarce, even more scarce than in the north. And after that there will be two more nuclear power plants in Borseli. “Then, of course, there will also be many high-voltage cables to transmit that power,” sighed a resident now enjoying the space. They’ve got the same dreadful electricity pylons there in Zeeland as we do in Groningen: so tall, standing next to each other in pairs, and worst of all, so bright white, that they can be seen for miles when the sun comes up.

But this is about the joy of living somewhere, the beauty of the landscape, and attachment to the environment, and few people in The Hague seem to care. You can’t meet a Groningen person without praising space and sky, everyone is proud of their medieval churches, and the red-brick villages on their hills – but what will they look like after a while? An incredible amount will be demolished and rebuilt in the near future, but as the chief government engineer Francesco Venestra recently pointed out: there is no plan nor vision for reconstruction. After the gas, are we now getting the character out of Groningen?


Groningen managers keep saying that Groningen has infinite answers to all kinds of problems: “The future has already begun in Groningen!” Well, the future doesn’t look good. But we seem to be leading the way in the energy transition (more electricity pylons, more windmills, more solar parks) and you’ll also see how circular farming will thrive here.

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Just live nice and far away, instead of running to The Hague and wagging your tail

I don’t know if the farmers, with their often large and intensive farms, are actually aware of this.

In an unprecedented journal northern latitude Written by Susan Taub, Secretary Groningen Gas Council And someone who knows what you’re talking about, that drivers always tend to the general rumble. They casually claim that the ‘challenges’ of Groningen (by which they mean: serious problems) [creëren] For solutions. “Why this situation is still not clear,” Tope writes. Foreign students, fast train connection, more favorable investment climate – does not benefit most of the population of the earthquake zone. Quite the contrary. Soon there will also be data centers and factories here to be It has to convert electricity into hydrogen.

The prime minister asks whether it would be unrefreshing to simply say: “We no longer need additional wind turbines or solar parks or high-voltage cables here.” And we also want to keep the space here spacious. “If you want to use it, we will take a closer look at your plans.” Just to be a sovereign, living a nice and distant life, instead of running to The Hague with a wagging tail and barking merrily to show that we would like to solve the country’s problems here, without the state solving ours.

And here to finally let people know where they stand. Providing the paint on those high-voltage towers, the monuments and the distinctive village views, having architects supervising the new building work… maybe the future really starts in Groningen.

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