Share of renewable electricity doubled in five years

Renewable electricity production in the Netherlands increased from just under 3 percent in 2000 to over 6 percent in 2005. Despite the increase, the production of renewable electricity is still well below last year’s EU-15 average of 14 percent.

Marginal share for hydro power in the Netherlands

The marginal contribution of renewable electricity to total electricity supply in the Netherlands is due to the fact that large-scale generation of electricity from hydro power is impossible in the Netherlands. The countries with the largest share of renewable electricity − Sweden and Austria − are precisely the countries which generate large amounts of electricity from hydro power.

Production renewable electricity, 2005

Production of renewable electricity stable in Europe

In the EU-15, renewable electricity production has wavered around 14 percent over the past five years. Hydro power is the most important energy source, but biomass and wind energy are becoming increasingly important.

Renewable electricity production in EU countries 

Large share for wind energy in Denmark

In Denmark, 17 percent of total electricity consumption was generated by wind turbines in 2005. No other country in the EU can match Denmark in this respect. In absolute terms, electricity production generated by wind energy is highest in Germany: 26.5 billion kWh, almost 40 percent of all wind energy in the EU-15. Spain also generates a large amount of electricity from wind turbines. Strikingly, the amount of electric power generated by wind energy increased considerably in Ireland, Portugal and Spain in 2005. This is due to the construction of new, high-capacity wind turbines. In Germany, the generation capacity of wind turbines declined slightly over the past years. In Denmark, the growth even came to an almost complete standstill.

Production renewable electricity in the EU-15 (excluding hydro power), 2004-2005

More biomass used in the Netherlands and Germany

The Netherlands showed the strongest relative growth in the use of biomass – particularly combustion of biomass in large power stations – to generate electricity in 2005. In absolute terms, the largest growth was recorded in Germany, where new, small and medium-sized systems run entirely on biomass.

Share of hydro power down

The amount of electricity generated by hydro power varies from one year to the next, depending on weather conditions. In a structural sense, the share of hydro power in European energy supply declined, because the capacity growth of hydro power stations is surpassed by the increase in electricity consumption.

EU targets

Due to the considerable geographical differences, the EU targets for renewable electricity in 2010 were reconsidered for each individual member state. For the Netherlands, the target is set at 9 percent and for the EU-15 at 22 percent.

Reinoud Segers