In 2014, net exports of natural gas were 25 percent below the level of 2013 and the volume of natural gas extracted in the Netherlands shrank by nearly 20 percent. Apart from 1988, the annual volume of gas recovered in the Netherlands has not been so low since 1972. Statistics Netherlands announced today that consumption also fell last year, by 13 percent.
Slowdown natural gas extraction due to local earthquakes
The Dutch government has taken measures to counter the effects of local earthquakes in the province of Groningen. The foreign demand for natural gas also continued to fall due to the mild weather conditions in the winter of 2013/2014. The extraction of natural gas remained stable at more than 66 billion cubic metres. Net export of natural gas is defined as exports minus imports.
Natural gas consumption down by more than 6 percent
Dutch energy consumption was more than 6 percent down in 2014 from 2013. Last year’s natural gas consumption exceeded 38 billion cubic metres, a reduction by 13 percent. The low consumption level is partly caused by the mild weather conditions in 2014. The generation of electricity also required less natural gas. Since 1982, natural gas consumption has never been so low.
Consumption petroleum derivatives more than 3 percent down
Last year, the consumption of petroleum derivatives in the Netherlands was down by more than 3 percent relative to 2013. Petrol and diesel sales decreased. Car engines are becoming increasingly fuel-efficient and more often run on alternative fuels like electricity and natural gas.
After the introduction of the higher excise duty on diesel, many Dutch consumers went to filling stations across the border to buy diesel. Motor fuels bought abroad are not incorporated in the Dutch consumption figures.
Increase coal consumption
The consumption of natural gas and petroleum derivatives decreased in 2014, but coal consumption grew by more than 10 percent. As new coal-fired power stations came into operation, coal consumption was stimulated. Manufacturing industry also used more coal for steel production.
Nuclear energy and renewable energy sources
The use of alternative energy sources like nuclear energy, renewable energy and energy recovery from waste grew marginally. Statistics Netherlands will shortly publish more detailed figures on the contribution of renewable energy in the Netherlands.