Total renewable energy consumption in the Netherlands amounted to 125 petajoules (PJ) in 2016, 5 percent up on the previous year. Biomass is by far the largest source of renewable energy with a share of nearly 63 percent. Consumption of biomass declined by 2 percent whereas solar and wind energy increased their shares by over 20 percent on average. Gross final energy consumption in the Netherlands rose by nearly 4 percent to 2,119 PJ relative to 2015. As total energy consumption went up, there was barely any increase in renewable energy consumption.
Growth in wind and solar energy consumption
Solar and wind energy consumption grew by over 20 percent and reached a level last year of 37 PJ. The installation of offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 600 megawatts (MW) led to a substantial rise in consumption levels. The total established capacity of solar panels saw a record increase from 500 to 2000 MW.
Lower consumption of biofuels
In 2016, consumption of biofuels for transport fell by around 20 percent year-on-year. Consumption had also declined in the previous year (-10 percent). An important reason is a change in legislation; since 2015, fuel suppliers are allowed to count biofuels towards their obligation even if these biofuels have not been placed on the Dutch market. CBS only takes into account total actual supplies to the Dutch market. In the other types of biofuel consumption such as waste incineration plants, biogas and consumption by power plants, companies and households, changes were limited to a few percent relative to 2015.
Mainly renewable heat
Energy from renewable sources is consumed to generate heat, electricity and for transport. In 2016, nearly half of renewable energy consumption was destined for heat, over 40 percent for electricity and just under 10 percent for transport.
The share of renewable energy consumption is one of the indicators of sustainable development. On Wednesday 31 May, the Dutch parliament will discuss the Sustainability Monitor 2017 (Dutch only), published by CBS on 17 May.