Figures - Energy

Over the past few years, electricity consumption has remained fairly stable at around 120 billion kWh. Consumption was at its highest level in 2008 (124 billion kWh). This level has not been reached since, due to the financial crisis of 2008, the resulting low economic growth as well as the savings effects of new energy-efficient appliances. Fluctuations in electricity production are related to developments in the international electricity market.

Total electricity consumption is calculated as the sum of domestic production and net import balance (imports minus exports).

Coal is used for electricity generation as well as iron and steel production. Considerably more electricity has been produced from coal in recent years as new coal-fired plants were gradually being put into service. Coal consumption declined slightly in 2016 when three old plants were closed down. Coal consumption for the production of iron and steel is fairly stable.

Natural gas production has dropped substantially in recent years. As earthquakes in Groningen province caused by gas extraction have posed increased safety risks, the government has gradually reduced the production cap. This has had a major impact on national gas revenues, which came under further pressure as a result of falling natural gas prices.

Average annual natural gas consumption in homes showed a downward trend as of 2004. Actual consumption is partly related to average outside temperatures and therefore shows an unpredictable pattern. When adjusted for temperature differences between the years, there was a decline of around 25 percent over this period.

Energy-saving measures, energy-efficient new-build homes and an increase in alternative heat sources such as district heating and heat pumps all contributed to this decline.

Renewable electricity production from sources such as wind, biomass, solar and hydro power is on the rise; there was a year-on-year increase of 15 percent in 2016. A major contributor was the new offshore wind farm near the island of Schiermonnikoog with a capacity of 600 megawatts. In 2016, almost 13 percent of total electricity consumption in the Netherlands was generated sustainably, up from 11 percent in 2015.

Compared to 2006, there was a 50 percent decline in the consumption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for road vehicles in 2016. A main reason for this is that the number of cars on LPG has been halved since 2003. Petrol consumption has increased, as in the previous year; although petrol cars have become more fuel efficient, they drive more vehicle-kilometres as the economy picks up. Diesel consumption has stabilised over the past few years.

The strong growth in air traffic has taken kerosene consumption levels to a record high. Consumption was 2.5 percent higher in 2016 than in the previous year, almost exclusively on account of international air traffic. Schiphol Airport serves as an airline hub and stop-over point where aircraft need to be refuelled. This refuelling requires a total amount of energy equivalent to 165 petajoules (PJ), as much as the level of petrol consumption by vehicles.

Producer prices of energy commodities have fallen in recent years. In 2016, natural gas prices declined in particular by as much as 30 percent. Electricity prices are influenced by coal and gas prices, as a lot of electricity is produced from these sources. Producer prices refer to prices of commodities which are available for domestic consumption.

These are the amounts receivable by the producer or importer for the energy product supplied. They are affected by developments in Europe and the rest of the world and may fluctuate widely accordingly.


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Explanation of symbols

empty cell Not applicable
. Data not available
* Provisional figure
** Revised provisional figure (but not definite)
2016-2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 Average for 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/’17 Crop year, financial year, school year, etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2014/’15-2016/’17 Crop year, financial year, etc., 2014/’15 to 2016/’17 inclusive

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

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