Less coal used in production of electricity

For the first time since 2011, Dutch power stations are using less coal. Consumption of coal declined by 10 percent year-on-year in 2016. On the other hand, consumption of natural gas rose by nearly 30 percent after years of decline, as reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) based on new figures.

Electricity consumption in power stations, by energy source
Electricity consumption in power stations, by energy source
 Other energy sourcesNatural gasCoal
200071198211
200175236225
200278243228
200382259231
200486293221
2005107279207
200695263205
200791278213
200893273203
200988297208
201099324195
2011103278182
2012101218211
201377217221
201487214255
2015**80175337
2016*77226305

Coal plants still a major source

In the Agreement on Energy for Sustainable Growth (Social and Economic Council, 2013), signatory parties committed to phasing out coal-fired power plants with relatively low efficiency dating from the 1980s. Three of these plants, together accounting for a capacity of nearly 2 gigawatts (GW), were closed down in 2015. Phasing out these plants contributed directly to the decline in coal consumption.
In spite of these measures, coal consumption in electricity production was historically high last year at 305 petajoule (PJ). Before 2014, annual coal consumption fluctuated around 210 PJ. The increase was partly due to the introduction of high-efficiency coal plants in 2014 and 2015 with a total capacity exceeding 3 GW.
In July 2017, the last few coal-fired power plants from the 1980s with a joint capacity of 1 gigawatt will be closed down.

Electric power produced in coal-fired power stations, by first year of operation
Electric power produced in coal-fired power stations, by first year of operation
 1980-19891990-19992010-2016
20002.71.6
20012.71.6
20022.71.6
20032.71.6
20042.71.6
20052.71.6
20062.71.6
20072.71.6
20082.71.6
20092.71.6
20102.71.6
20112.71.6
20122.71.6
20132.71.3
20142.71.32.3
2015**11.33.4
2016*11.33.4

Natural gas plants supplying more again

Following five years of decline, natural gas consumption at power plants was up nearly 30 percent in 2016. The main contributing factor aside from the shutdown of coal plants was the price drop of natural gas by 30 to 40 percent in 2016.

Power station output rose by over 4 billion kWh in 2016, reaching the highest level in history with a total of 76.7 billion kWh. This upsurge is particularly related to declining electricity imports; in 2016 by 6.5 billion kWh. Electricity exports declined as well, by 2.7 billion kWh.

Electricity produced in power stations
Electricity produced in power stations
 Series 0
196012.8
196113.7
196215.2
196316.8
196418.4
196520.2
196622.5
196724.5
196827.9
196931.3
197034.6
197138.5
197243
197345.6
197448.6
197548.4
197652.2
197752.3
197855.4
197958
198058.2
198157.6
198253.1
198352.9
198455.2
198555
198658.6
198758.5
198857.9
198962
199059.6
199161.6
199262.8
199360.7
199461.7
199560.8
199660.9
199760.7
199862.3
199955.1
200056.5
200162.4
200265.4
200366.5
200470.4
200569.2
200667.1
200770.4
200867.6
200972.1
201075.8
201170.6
201264
201363.1
201467.5
201572.3
2016*76.7