Dutch wind turbines catch less wind

01/03/2011 15:00

The generation of electricity by Dutch wind turbines was reduced by approximately 13 percent last year. The reduction is mainly caused by the fact that 2010 was a less windy year. Expansion of the total number of wind turbines in the Netherlands did not suffice to offset the reduced wind supply.

Wind supply has never been so low

Wind supply can be expressed by means of a so-called Windex. A Windex of 100 corresponds to the average amount of wind in the period 1996-2005. Throughout 2010, the Windex was 77. The Windex is gauged since 1988 and has never been this low.

Wind supply for wind energy (Windex)

Wind supply for wind energy (Windex)

Few new wind turbines

According to Wind Energy News, the overall capacity of Dutch wind turbines grew by approximately 30 megawatts or 1.5 percent in 2010. The capacity increase in 2009 was also small, but the average annual capacity growth over the period 2002–2008 was more than 200 megawatts.

Wind turbines more powerful

Wind turbines more powerful

Total generation renewable electricity stable

Total generation of renewable electricity remained more or less stable, accounting for about 9 percent of domestic electricity consumption in 2010. The reduction of the amount of electricity generated by wind turbines was offset by generation of electricity from biomass. Combustion of biomass in power stations increased considerably.

In 2001, the Netherlands agreed with other European countries to generate 9 percent of Dutch electricity consumption from renewable sources in 2010. This target has been achieved.

Generation of  renewable electricity

Generation of  renewable electricity

16 billion kWh of renewable electricity imported in 2010

The domestic demand for renewable electricity has grown from 26 to 28 billion kWh in 2010, i.e. about a quarter of total national electricity consumption. The domestic production of renewable electricity is not enough to meet the demand. Therefore, a considerable amount of renewable electricity is imported (16 billion kWh last year). It needs to be borne in mind that imports of renewable energy do not contribute to the objectives agreed in a European context.

Reinoud Segers and Marco Wilmer