Energy consumption was more than 7 percent higher in 2010 than in 2009. Annual energy consumption has never been this high. The high energy consumption is mainly due to the economic recovery after the recession and last winter’s harsh weather conditions.
Energy consumption in 2010
Natural gas accounts for three quarters of the increase
Natural gas accounts for three quarters of energy consumption growth, petroleum for one quarter.
Other, less important energy sources hardly affected energy consumption growth.
Natural gas consumption since 1959
Cold winter in 2010
Natural gas consumption grew by no less than 12 percent last year relative to 2009. The cold that prevailed in January, February, November and December in 2010 was much more severe than in 2009. The last winter was similar to 1996, although natural gas consumption was 3 percent down on 2010, because in 1996 the volume of natural gas used for electricity generation was smaller. So far, the year 2010 is indeed a record year for natural gas consumption.
Increase energy consumption in 2010 due to winter cold and increased economic activities
Energy consumption also higher without cold
If 2010 would have been as cold as 2009, energy consumption would also have been higher (approximately 4 percent). This is largely attributable to the upturn manufacturing industry has taken after the economic recession. The petrochemical industry, sensitive to economic cycles, has used much more oil in 2010 for the production of plastics. All branches of manufacturing industry, showed an increase in natural gas consumption ranging from moderately to considerably. More natural gas was also used in 2010 for electricity generation. As a result, consumption in the energy sector was higher, a trend which has been observed for several years.
Contribution nuclear energy less than 2 percent
The amount of nuclear energy produced in the Netherlands in 2010 accounted for 1.1 percent of national energy consumption and has not changed in recent years as no new nuclear power stations were built. Electricity partly generated by nuclear power is also imported, e.g. from France. Including these imports from France, the proportion of nuclear energy in total energy consumption still remains below 2 percent.
Generation of nuclear energy
Otto Swertz and Ferry Melis