The production of renewable electricity dropped from 6.5 percent of domestic electricity consumption in 2006 to 6.0 percent in 2007. This is due to a substantial decrease in the amount of biomass used for co-firing in power stations. The generation of energy from wind turbines, on the other hand, increased substantially, making it now the most important source of renewable energy.
Renewable electricity from domestic energy sources
Co-firing of biomass cut by half
One of the most important output sources of renewable electricity is the co-firing of biomass in power stations, which was reduced by nearly half in 2007 relative to the previous year. One of the reasons may be the change in subsidy rates effective from 1 July 2006. Over the period 2003-2005, co-firing of biomass still increased fourfold.
The use of biomass for the production of renewable electricity has varied substantially in recent years. It depends on subsidy rates, the price of biomass, the price of fossil fuels, the public discussion on the sustainability of biomass and the temporary closure of power stations due to, for example, extensive overhaul.
Electricity generated by co-firing of biomass in power stations
Contribution of wind energy growing
Generation of electricity from wind energy rose by a quarter in 2007, thus accounting for more than half of output of renewable electricity. This makes wind energy the major source of renewable electricity.
The generation of electricity from wind energy rose distinctly because by the end of 2006 and in 2007, new wind turbines became operational. By the end of 2007, the overall capacity of wind turbines was 1,750 megawatt, some 12 percent more than a year ago. The output of energy generated by wind was also higher, because the weather was more windy in 2007 relative to 2006.
More green electricity from abroad
Next to domestic generation of renewable energy, the Netherlands imports green electricity. Last year, 10.5 percent of total electricity consumption in the Netherlands was imported, one third more than in 2006. The increase was mainly caused by a higher domestic demand for green electricity, a decrease in domestic electricity production and an increase in green electricity certificates.