Renewable energy use, 1990-2012

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The share of renewable energy in the total energy consumption was 4.5% in 2012. This is comparable with 4.3% of 2011.

Growth in renewable energy levelling off

The share of renewable energy grew by 0.4% each year between 2003 and 2009. The growth rate then dropped to an average of 0.1% a year. The strong growth seen up to 2009 corresponds to an attractive subsidy for renewable electricity and the introduction of the obligation to use biofuels in transport.

Electricity still main form of renewable energy

Renewable energy is used in the form of electricity, heat and biofuels for transport. Electricity is still the main form of renewable energy, accounting for about 45% of all renewable energy use in 2012.

Slight growth in renewable heat

Renewable heat accounted for 40% of the renewable energy use in 2012. The use increased from 36.7 PJ in 2011 to 39.3 PJ in 2012. Most of the growth was in heat from waste incineration and geothermal energy.

Biomass main source of renewable energy

Almost three quarters of all renewable energy is from biomass. This includes electricity and heat generation in waste incineration plants, the co-firing of biomass in power stations and the use of biofuels in transport. Energy production in waste incineration plants increased in 2012. On the other hand, there was a decrease in the co-firing of biomass in power stations.
Wind energy provides just 20% of the renewable energy in the Netherlands. Other sources of renewable energy are solar radiation, hydropower, geothermal energy and air source heat pumps. The joint contribution of these totals about nine per cent.

Avoid fossil fuel use

One of the main objectives of renewable energy use is to avoid fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions. The link below shows a time series for 'avoided fossil fuel use' and 'avoided CO2 emissions' for total renewable energy use and by renewable energy source/technology. The data are taken from the StatLine (CBS, 2013) database. These data are in accordance with policy objectives in place up to 2010.

European data

Data on the share of renewable energy in other European countries can be found at Eurostat (2013a and 2013b) and EurObserv'ER (2013).

Technical explanation

Naam van het gegeven
Verantwoordelijk instituut
Geografische verdeling

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Reference of this webpage

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2024). Renewable energy use, 1990-2012 (indicator 0385, version 29,

) Statistics Netherlands (CBS), The Hague; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague; RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven; and Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen.