Edition 2020

Photo description: People walking their dogs on a road lined with stacked timber.

How much energy do we get from biomass?

In 2019, the Netherlands consumed 106 petajoules (PJ) from biomass. Biomass is the largest source of renewable energy with a share of 60 percent.

Biomass fuel for households16 PJLiquid biotransport fuels28 petajoulesBiomass boilers forcompanies, electricity13 PJWaste incineration plants16 PJBiomass boilers forcompanies, heat12 PJBiomass co-firing inpower plants8 PJBiogas12 PJ
How much energy is generated from biomass?in total biomass burningpetajoules106

Energy consumption from biomass rose by 15 percent to 106 petajoules in 2019. As in 2018, coal-fired power stations are co-firing more biomass. This represents a tripling, partly because the new coal-fired power station near Eemshaven also started to co-fire biomass. In 2019, total consumption of renewable energynoot1 grew by 16 percent to 182 petajoules compared to the year before. Over half of this increase was caused by higher consumption of biomass.

Consumption of liquid biofuels (biodiesel and biogasoline) rose from 23 to 28 petajoules; an increase of 24 percent. Energy production from co-firing in coal-fired power stations rose from 3 to 8 petajoules.

In 2019, renewable energy accounted for 8.7 percent of the Netherlands’ final energy consumptionnoot2 (about 2,100 PJ). It has been agreed at EU level that the share of renewable energy in the Netherlands should be 14 percent by 2020. This can be achieved by consuming renewable energy produced in the Netherlands, but also by purchasing it from countries with more renewable energy available than the agreed EU target. Meanwhile, the Netherlands has an agreement with Denmark to purchase a still to be determined amount of renewable energy for 2020.

In 2018, the Netherlands brought up the EU’s rear in terms of its share of energy from renewable sources (7.4 percent). Sweden takes the lead and generates more than half (54.6 percent) of its energy from renewable sources. In Finland and Latvia, the share of energy generated sustainably exceeds 40 percent.

Renewable energy consumption, 2018 (%)
Land Share of renewable energy
Sweden 54.6
Finland 41.2
Latvia 40.3
Denmark 35.7
Austria 33.4
Portugal 30.3
Estonia 30.0
Croatia 28.0
Lithuania 24.4
Romania 23.9
Slovenia 21.1
Bulgaria 20.5
EU-27 18.9
Greece 18.0
Italy 17.8
Spain 17.5
France 16.6
Germany 16.5
Czech Republic 15.2
Cyprus 13.9
Hungary 12.5
Slovakia 11.9
Poland 11.3
Ireland 11.1
Belgium 9.4
Luxembourg 9.1
Malta 8.0
Netherlands 7.4

Record growth in solar power capacity

In 2019, solar energy consumption (for electricity and heat) in the Netherlands increased by 37 percent to 20 petajoules. The installed capacity of solar panels for solar powernoot3 rose again by a record amount, from 2,300 megawatts to 6,900 megawatts, an increase of about 50 percent.

At the same time, wind energy production rose by 7 percent to 39 petajoules. The installed capacity of wind turbines increased from 4,400 megawatts at the end of 2018 to 4,500 megawatts at the end of 2019. At sea, the capacity of wind farms did not change and remained around 1 thousand megawatts.

Wind and solar energy consumption (petajoules (PJ))
Year Onshore wind energy Solar energy Offshore wind energy
2011 14.34 1.42 2.67
2012 14.96 1.76 2.82
2013 16.68 2.58 2.65
2014 18.22 3.74 2.70
2015 21.17 5.13 3.73
2016 21.75 6.91 8.36
2017 22.56 9.08 12.15
2018 23.68 14.45 12.43
2019** 26.74 19.79 12.04
** Revised provisional figures

The questions


Renewable energy

Renewable energy means energy from renewable non-fossil sources, namely wind, solar, aerothermal, geothermal, hydrothermal and ocean energy, hydropower, biomass, landfill gas, waste water treatment plant gas and biogases.

Final energy consumption

In accordance with European agreements, the share of renewable energy sources is calculated based on the gross energy consumption for energetic use. This concerns energy consumption by end-user sectors (manufacturing industry, households, services, agriculture and transport) for energy applications. This is exclusive of consumption for non-energy applications such as petroleum as a raw material for plastics and losses as a result of energy conversion. The rules for calculation are taken from the EU Renewable Energy Directive. These rules are slightly different from the rules for the national energy balance. As a result, energy consumption by end-users in the renewable energy statistic is not exactly equal to energy consumption by end-users in the national energy balance.

Solar panels for solar power

The installed capacity of solar installations in the Netherlands is calculated by combining data from a number of registrations (PIR, Certiq, VAT, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and energy-saving investment credit figures). Installations are then classified by dwellings and companies and company type on the basis of a link with the Addresses and Buildings Key Register (BAG), residential and business client databases and the electricity connection register. Quality is guaranteed with the application of various correction and control methods, including double counting between registrations and different years, capacities and year of commissioning. On the basis of the registrations used, it is expected that at least 95 percent of the total installed capacity in the Netherlands is known. However, it is known that registrations lag behind, as a result of which provisional figures may underestimate the installed capacity in that year.


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Explanation of symbols

Explanation of symbols
Symbol Explanation
Empty cell figure not applicable
. figure is unknown, insufficiently reliable or confidential
* provisional figure
** revised provisional figure
(between two numbers) inclusive
0 (0.0) less than half of unit concerned
2016–2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 average for the years 2016 up to and including 2017
2016/’17 crop year, financial year, school year etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2004/’05–2016/’17 crop year etc. 2004/’05 up to and including 2016/’17

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

About CBS

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Concept & image editing

Irene van Kuik


Anne Blaak

Janneke Hendriks

Richard Jollie

Hendrik Zuidhoek


Ronald van der Bie

Kees Groenenboom

Annelie Hakkenes-Tuinman

Michel van Kooten

Sidney Vergouw

Paul de Winden

Elma Wobma

Karolien van Wijk

Gert Jan Wijma


Gabriëlle de Vet

Frans Dinnissen

Final editing

Annelie Hakkenes-Tuinman

We thank all other colleagues who have contributed to this edition of The Netherlands in Numbers.