Total renewable energy consumption in the Netherlands amounted to 138 petajoules (PJ) in 2017, over 10 percent up on the previous year. Gross final energy consumption stood at around 2,100 PJ last year, just as in 2016.
More wind and solar energy consumption
In 2017, solar energy consumption (for electricity and heat) increased by 31 percent to 9 PJ. The total established capacity of solar panels used to generate solar power saw a record increase from over 800 to nearly 2,900 megawatts (MW).
At the same time, wind energy production rose by 15 percent to 35 PJ. The installation of offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 600 MW in the second half of 2016 led to a substantial rise in consumption levels; these turbines were in operation all year long in 2017. Hardly any new turbines were added last year, as a result of which total wind capacity did not exceed 4,200 MW.
Consumption of biofuels for transport surged
Biomass is the largest source of renewable energy with a share of 61 percent; consumption rose by 8 percent in 2017. Consumption of biofuels for transport increased in particular, by around 30 percent. This is partly related to the obligation for suppliers of motor fuels to increase the share of renewable energy in transport fuels.
Biofuel consumption by power plants and companies for electricity production rose as well last year, by 20 percent. This was mainly due to the fact that these installations started generating mainly more heat - in addition to electricity - for adjacent industrial sites.
Compared to 2016, an increase was also seen in the other types of biofuel consumption such as waste incineration plants, biogas and consumption by companies with only heat installations and households, but this was limited to a few percent.
Mainly renewable heat
Energy from renewable sources is consumed to generate heat, electricity and for transport. In 2017, nearly half of renewable energy consumption was destined for heat, over 40 percent for electricity and just under 10 percent for transport.