Renewable energy consumption up by 16 percent

© Hollandse Hoogte / Flip Franssen
In 2019, renewable energy consumption in the Netherlands grew by 16 percent to 181 petajoules (PJ) relative to the previous year. More than half of this increase was due to increased consumption of biomass, particularly co-firing in power plants and in the form of biodiesel and biogasoline. In addition, solar power consumption rose substantially. This is shown by the latest figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Renewable energy consumption
JaartalBiomass (% of gross final energy consumption)Wind energy (% of gross final energy consumption)Solar energy (% of gross final energy consumption)Other1) (% of gross final energy consumption)
20001.470.130.020.02
20011.510.140.030.02
20021.640.170.030.03
20031.570.220.030.04
20041.710.270.030.04
20052.100.320.040.04
20062.300.400.040.06
20072.700.510.040.07
20082.860.620.040.09
20093.370.730.050.13
20103.040.690.050.14
20113.500.780.060.18
20123.580.810.080.21
20133.470.880.120.26
20143.921.040.190.33
20153.891.200.250.40
20163.711.430.330.46
20174.021.640.430.51
20184.371.710.680.62
20195.061.850.940.80
1)Hydropower, geothermal energy, aerothermal energy

Renewable energy sources accounted for 8.6 percent of gross final energy consumption. In 2019, this stood at around 2,100 PJ, just as in the previous year. In 2018, renewable energy held a share of 7.4 percent.

At EU level, it has been agreed that the share of renewable energy in the Netherlands must be 14 percent by the year 2020. This can be achieved by consuming more domestic renewable energy but also by buying renewable energy from countries that are above target. The Netherlands has not yet made such agreements for 2019.

Surge in consumption of energy from biomass

At 60 percent, biomass is the single largest source of renewable energy; consumption rose by 15 percent to 106 PJ in 2019. Consumption of liquid bio-based transport fuels rose from 23 to 28 PJ, i.e. an increase of 24 percent. Electricity and heat generation from co-firing in power plants increased from 3 to 8 PJ.

More biodiesel and biogasoline

The increase in biodiesel and biogasoline consumption was related to a higher renewable energy target for transportation imposed on suppliers of motor fuels, which was raised from 8.5 to 12.5 percent. A large part of the biofuels that are put on the Dutch market have been produced from used cooking oil and the raw materials in biofuel consumption come from around the world, as reported by the Dutch Emissions Authority.

More co-firing of biomass

The increase in biomass energy consumption was due to increased co-firing of biomass at coal-fired plants , as was the case in 2018. This increased three-fold, partly due to the fact that the new coal plant at Eemshaven started co-firing more biomass. Subsidies provided an incentive for this increase.

Renewable energy consumption from biomass sources
Categorie2019* (petajoules)2018 (petajoules)
Liquid biofuels for transport28.4422.87
Biomass households16.2816.45
Waste incineration plants15.6916.59
Biomass boilers at companies,
electricity
12.6910.59
Biomass boilers at companies,
only heat
12.4911.75
Biogas12.3511.30
Auxiliary and co-combustion of biomass
in power plants
8.262.89
* Provisional figures

Solar energy consumption (for electricity and heat) increased by 37 percent to 20 PJ last year. Another record increase was achieved in the total established capacity of solar power installations, namely from 2,300 to 6,800 megawatts (MW) or 51 percent.

Wind energy consumption rose by 7 percent to 39 PJ. The installed capacity of wind turbines increased from 4,400 MW at the end of 2018 to 4,500 MW at the end of 2019. The capacity of offshore wind farms remained unchanged at around 1 thousand MW.

Wind and solar energy consumption
JaartalOnshore wind energy (petajoules)Solar energy (petajoules)Offshore wind energy (petajoules)
201114.341.422.67
201214.961.762.82
201316.682.582.65
201418.223.742.70
201521.175.133.73
201621.756.918.36
201722.569.0812.15
201823.6814.4512.43
2019*26.7419.7512.04
*Provisional figures

Sources