Growing consumption of sustainable energy

The consumption of sustainable energy  in the Netherlands increased from 2.9 to 3.4 percent of total domestic energy consumption in 2008. The increase is mainly the result of the increased use of biomass and wind energy. According to Dutch government targets, 20 percent of total energy use must be sustainable by 2020.

Consumption of sustainable energy

Consumption of sustainable energy

More biomass

The contribution of biomass to the energy supply rose from 1.8 to 2.2 percent in 2008, partly as a result of co-firing in electricity plants. In addition, three medium-sized installations came into operation which convert waste wood into electricity. The use of biofuels by road vehicles also rose further.

Biofuels in road traffic

Biofuels in road traffic

Slight growth of biofuels in road traffic

The use of biofuels by road vehicles grew slightly in 2008, from 2.8 to 3.0 percent of the total consumption of petrol and diesel. Last year slightly less biofuel was mixed with petrol and diesel than legally required, mainly because considerably more than required was mixed in in 2007. Suppliers may compensate this in subsequent years.

Wind energy continues to grow

Dutch wind turbines accounted for just over 1 percent of the energy supply in 2008. These turbines produced about one quarter more energy than the year before. The increase was caused principally by the construction of new large turbines, both on land and at sea.

Ambient and solar energy and hydropower still limited

Biomass and wind energy are the main sustainable energy sources in the Netherlands. Other sustainable sources are ambient energy, solar energy and hydropower. These three sources accounted for only just over 0.2 percent of the total energy supply in 2008.

Surprisingly, the use of ambient energy has been growing by 30 percent annually in recent years. Unlike sustainable electricity production, relatively few subsidies are available for harvesting ambient energy.

Reinoud Segers and Marco Wilmer