Less production, more consumption of gas in 2016

© Hollandse Hoogte
Energy consumption levels in the Netherlands rose by 2 percent in 2016 to 3,131 petajoules (PJ). Natural gas consumption went up in particular, by 80 PJ, whereas production declined by 120 PJ. In the same year, petroleum consumption increased by 20 PJ and coal consumption declined by 30 PJ. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on new figures.

Natural gas, petroleum and coal remain by far the most important energy sources, together accounting for more than 90 percent of total energy consumption. The remainder is generated from renewable energy sources, nuclear energy, waste and imported electric current.

Natural gas consumption remains below long-term average level

In 2016, gas consumption was higher than in the previous year due to colder temperatures. More natural gas was used towards electricity production. This compensated for the decline in electricity production from coal. In addition, the competitive position of Dutch gas-fired power plants in the northwest European electricity market improved. Natural gas consumption was relatively low in 2016 compared to the period between 2000 and 2010, when on average one-sixth more natural gas was consumed. During this time, more gas was consumed for heating and electricity production.

Less production, increased use of stored gas reserves

The year 2016 saw natural gas consumption go up while production went down. In view of increased demand, 6.3 billion cubic metres of previously extracted natural gas were taken from underground gas storage facilities and imports of natural gas were increased. This led to more natural gas exports from the Netherlands, mainly in the last two months of 2016 when it was much colder in the Netherlands and surrounding countries compared to the same period in 2015.

Natural gas, petroleum and coal remain by far the most important energy sources, together accounting for more than 90 percent of total energy consumption. The remainder is generated from renewable energy sources, nuclear energy, waste and imported electric current.

Less production, increased use of stored gas reserves

The year 2016 saw natural gas consumption go up while production went down. In view of increased demand, 6.3 billion cubic metres of previously extracted natural gas were taken from underground gas storage facilities and imports of natural gas were increased. This led to more natural gas exports from the Netherlands, mainly in the last two months of 2016 when it was much colder in the Netherlands and surrounding countries compared to the same period in 2015.

Old coal plants closed down

In 2016, approximately one-tenth less coal was used for electricity production than the year before. Coal consumption at recently opened power plants was up, as they reached the end of the start-up phase. However, this did not make up for the decline in consumption following the closure of three old coal-fired power plants. Coal consumption for the production of iron and steel remained virtually unchanged.

Consumption of petroleum products in manufacturing industry up

Petroleum consumption was up by around 2 percent. This is mainly related to petroleum products used in the manufacturing industry, such as residual gases and raw materials for chemical production. The oil-consuming industry was less affected by maintenance and technical failures than one year previously, which explains the increased use of these petroleum products.