Renewable energy use, 1990-2014

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The share of renewable energy in total energy consumption increased from 4.8% in 2013 to 5.5% in 2014. According to the EU Renewable Energy Directive, the Dutch share for 2020 is set at 14%.

More renewable heat used

Renewable energy is used in the form of heat, electricity and biofuels for transport. Last year, the use of renewable heat increased further. The use of biofuels also rose marginally, but the use of renewable electricity decreased marginally. Approximately half of total consumption of renewable energy of more than 110 petajoules (PJ) in 2014 was used to generate heat.

More heat generated in waste incineration plants

Just as in 2013, consumption of renewable heat increased by more than 9 percent in 2014 to 54 PJ. Waste incineration plants and wood-burning stoves in households are important sources of renewable heat, but the use of heating boilers in private companies contributed most to the increase.

Consumption of renewable electricity down

Consumption of renewable electricity fell by 1.5 percent in 2014, mainly because less biomass was used to generate electricity. The decrease was not entirely offset by an increase in the use of solar and wind energy to generate electricity; the capacity expansion was inadequate.

Consumption of biofuels for transport

The consumption of biofuels for transport has varied around 13 PJ in recent years, but was 14 PJ in 2014. There is a legal obligation for petrol and diesel suppliers to ensure that part of the energy they supply comes from renewable energy sources, often biofuels for transport. Each year, the rules become stricter. In recent years, the obligation has been met by using biofuels which comply with high environmental standards. Such biofuels count double towards the EU target.

Policy objective

The 2009 EU directive Renewable Energy stipulates that in 2020 14 percent of gross final energy consumption must be generated from renewable energy sources. The directive is the result of a collective decision by the governments of the EU member states and the European Parliament. In the coalition agreement, the current government had set the target at 16 percent in 2020 (VVD and PvdA, 2012). In the national Energy agreement, the 16 percent target was postponed to 2023 (SER, 2013).

Avoiding the use of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions

An important aspect of the application of renewable energy sources is to reduce the use of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions. The link below provides a time series from the StatLine database (CBS, 2015a) regarding the "reduction of fossil fuels" and the "reduction of CO2 emissions" as a result of the use of renewable energy sources and a breakdown by renewable energy source/technology. These data are in line with the 2010 policy objective (CBS, 2015a).

European data

Data on the share of renewable energy in other European countries can accessed at Eurostat (2014a) and EurObserv'ER (2014).


CBS has carried out a revision, which resulted in an upward adjustment of the share of renewable energy for the entire time series 1990-2013. Last year CBS reported that the share of renewable energy was 4.5 percent for 2013 and 4.8 percent after revision. The higher percentage is a consequence of the incorporation of the results of new surveys and methodological improvements. In the article Revisie Hernieuwbare Energie 2015 (CBS, 2015b), the revision is explained in more detail.


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, 1990-2014 (indicator 0385, version 31,

) 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.