Production from renewable sources rose by 22 percent, while production from fossil sources fell by 11 percent. Last year, 33 percent of total electricity production came from renewable sources. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on the basis of newly released figures.
In 2021, renewable electricity production rose by 7 billion kWh (22 percent) year on year, to 39.1 billion kWh. Solar power increased by 30 percent to 11.4 billion kWh, wind power by 17 percent to 17.9 billion kWh and production from biomass by 23 percent to 9.7 billion kWh.
The higher electricity production from renewable sources is largely due to an increased capacity for solar (from 11.0 GW in 2020 to 14.3 GW in 2021) and wind energy production (from 6.6 GW in 2020 to 7.8 GW in 2021).
In 2021, renewable sources accounted for 33 percent of total electricity generation. This share was still 27 percent in the previous year. In accordance with the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, the shares of renewable energy production in the various EU countries are compared to each other on the basis of electricity consumption.
According to this method, the share stood at 34 percent in 2021, up from 26 percent in 2020. This placed the Netherlands in the middle of the EU ranking.
In 2021, electricity production from fossil sources fell by 9.1 to 74.7 billion kWh, representing a year-on-year decline of 11 percent. Production from coal rose by 6.9 billion kWh (72 percent) to 16.5 billion kWh, while production form natural gas declined by 16.0 billion kWh (22 percent) to 55.3 billion kWh.
The Netherlands has many gas-fired power stations. These produced less electricity as of Q2 2021 in particular, following the price increase of natural gas on the world market. The price of coal rose relatively less sharply, which resulted in relatively higher production from coal.
Electricity imports rose by 6 percent to 20.9 billion kWh in 2021, mainly in the third quarter. At the same time, exports declined by 8 percent to 20.6 billion kWh. This means that, on balance, the Netherlands became a net importer, contrary to the previous year with net exports.
Imports from Belgium (1.4 billion kWh) in particular showed an increase last year. The nuclear power stations of Belgium produced 48 percent more electricity. In addition, Belgium re-exported a surplus of nuclear electricity from France. Exports to Germany declined in particular, by 1.0 billion kWh (12 percent). ■