A decision on whether to begin fracking for shale gas in the Netherlands will not be taken for another 18 months until further research has been done, Dutch economic affairs minister Henk Kamp has confirmed.
The three areas in the country currently considered for test drilling by British firm Cuadrilla will not be fracked until a detailed investigation has taken place over the environmental effects of shale gas extraction.
This process could take up to 18 months, Kamp told the Dutch parliament, given that the government and energy experts will be looking for ways to minimise soil, water and air pollution. This period will also been used to involve local communities and council near potential fracking sites.
Some councils, such as Haaren and Boxtel in the north-east of Amsterdam, have already said they oppose shale gas extraction and would prefer to see developments in the renewable energy sector.