Photo description: NOP Agrowind, RWE Essent energy company and Westermeerwind building a wind farm on the shores and in the waters of the IJsselmeer lake.

Renewable energy

Of all EU countries, the Netherlands is furthest from achieving the 2020 renewable energy targets. In 2017, 6.6 percent of the energy generated came from renewable sources such as wind turbines and solar panels. According to the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, this share must be at least 14 percent by the year 2020.

Meetlat-9-energie_ENG NL FR IE UK L U PL BE SI C Y P T M T DE ES EU GR A T L V HU RO I T CZ BG L T FI EE SE DK HR 2.5% points 7.4% points D i s t a n c e t o EU 2020 t a rg e t , 2017

Eleven EU member states have already achieved the renewable energy targets set for 2020. Sweden takes the lead and generates more than half (54.5 percent) of its energy from renewable sources. This is well above the 49‑percent target. In Finland, Latvia, Austria and Denmark, sustainable energy shares exceed 30 percent.

After the Netherlands, France is furthest away from meeting the target, followed by Ireland and the United Kingdom. Although Luxembourg generated less energy from renewable sources in 2017 than the Netherlands (6.4 percent), its target for next year is lower: 11 percent. Targets vary from country to country.

Relatively low levels of biomass in the Netherlands

Dutch households burn relatively little wood (biomass), in part because almost all homes are connected to the gas grid. In addition, the Netherlands hardly produces any hydropower. Unlike Sweden and Finland, it has no large paper industry which uses biomass as an energy source.

Energy from renewable sources is used for heating, electricity and transport. In 2017, nearly half of renewable energy consumption in the Netherlands was for heating, over 40 percent for electricity and just under 10 percent for transport.

11 EU countries have reached 2020 renewable energy target
15% of electricity used in the Netherlands in 2017 from renewable sources

Electricity from sun, wind and biomass

In 2018, the Netherlands produced 18 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity from renewable sources, for example 15 percent of its total electricity consumption. Wind turbines generated 9.9 billion kWh, representing the largest share in green electricity production. Another 4.8 billion kWh came from biomass and 3.2 billion kWh from solar panels.


Eurostat – Renewable energy


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