Electricity production in decline

11/07/2006 14:00

Dutch electricity production totalled nearly 101 billion kWh in 2005, a 1.3 percent decline on 2004. The decline is mainly caused by a reduction in electricity production in conventional installations. Reduced production was offset by an increase in electricity imports. Total electricity consumption in 2005 hardly changed compared to the previous year.

Electricity production

Centralised production of electricity shifts

In 2005, electricity production in central electricity production units shifted from conventional installations to combined heat and power (CHP) installations. Centralised CHP production of electricity rose by over 6 percent to 29 billion kWh. At the same time, centralised production by conventional installations fell by 7 percent to 40 billion kWh. The effective use of heat also increased (by 2 percent) in 2005, but lagged behind CHP electricity production. Last year, 42 percent of centrally generated electricity was produced in CHP systems. This is the highest percentage since 1998.

Centralised electricity production

Use of fossil fuels decreases

Electricity is largely generated by using fossil fuels. In 2005, the generation source shifted considerably from fossil fuels to biomass fuels. The use of the two main fossil fuels (natural gas and coal) dropped by 30 petajoule (PJ) to 768 PJ. Generation of electricity from biomass increased by 19 PJ to 59 PJ in 2005.
Furthermore, there was a relatively large increase in generation of renewable electricity by 10 percent. Yet, with approximately 2 billion kWh in 2004, the contribution of renewable energy remains fairly insignificant.

CHP capacity larger than conventional capacity

Total CHP capacity in the Netherlands has exceeded conventional capacity since 2004. Electrical energy generated in CHP installations increased by 1 percent to 10.6 gigawatt (GW) in 2005. With 9.9 GW, conventional capacity remained virtually unchanged. The capacity of renewable energy grew by 13 percent to 1.3 GW. The overall capacity to generate electricity rose by 0.3 GW to 21.8 GW in 2005.

Capacity to generate electricity

Bart van Wezel and Jan Kloots