Renewable energy use, 1990-2019

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The share of renewable energy in total energy consumption increased from 7.4 percent in 2018 to 8.7 percent in 2019. According to the EU Renewable Energy Directive, the Dutch share for 2020 is set at 14%.

More renewable heat and electricity used

Renewable energy is used in the form of heat, electricity and biofuels for transport. In 2019 the use of renewable heat, electricity and biofuels increased by 16 percent (to 181 PJ) compared to 2018. Approximately 42 percent of total consumption of renewable energy was used to generate heat, 43 percent for electricity and 15 percent was used as biofuel for transport.

Renewable heat

Consumption of renewable heat increased by 12 percent in 2019 to 76 PJ. Waste incineration plants and wood-burning stoves in households are important sources of renewable heat. Just like in 2018 the biggest increase in heat generation can be found at combined heat and power (CHP) installations of enterprises. A striking development is the threefold increase of the heat production by co-firing biomass in power plants in 2019.

More consumption of renewable electricity

Consumption of renewable electricity grew by 18 percent in 2019, mainly because of a considerable increase solar energy (+ 5.3 PJ). Wind energy increased by 8% in 2019.

Increase in consumption of biofuels for transport

Consumption of biofuels for transport showed an increase of 26 percent in 2019 compared to 2018. An important cause is a more strict legislation on Energy for Transport, in which the blending obligation is regulated. It also has to do with a higher mandatory share of renewable energy in transport fuel that has to be met by the suppliers.

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, 2019a) 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.

European data

Data on the share of renewable energy in other European countries can accessed at Eurostat (2019a,b) and EurObserv'ER (2019).


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, 1990-2019 (indicator 0385, version 36,

) 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.