Renewable energy use, 1990-2022

The share of renewable energy in total energy consumption increased from 13.0 percent in 2021 to 15.0 percent in 2022.

More renewable heat and electricity used

Renewable energy is used in the form of electricity, heat and biofuels for transport. In 2022 the use of renewable heat, electricity and biofuels increased by 7 percent (to 277 PJ) compared to 2021. Approximately 61 percent of total consumption of renewable energy was used for electricity, 30 percent to generate heat and 9 percent was used as biofuel for transport. (CBS, 2024).

Renewable heat

Consumption of renewable heat decreased by 5 percent in 2022 to 82 PJ. This is mainly the result of a decrease in the use of biomass at companies for heat production. On the other hand, aerothermal heat used with heat pumps has increased by 36 percent.

More consumption of renewable electricity

Consumption of renewable electricity grew by 15 percent in 2022, mainly because of a considerable increase solar energy (+ 20.8 PJ). Wind energy increased by 13 percent in 2022.

Increase in consumption of biofuels for transport

The consumption of biofuels showed a slight decrease from 25 petajoules in 2021 to 24 petajoules in 2022. Nevertheless, the share of renewable energy for transport increased to almost 11 percent. This is approximately two percentage points higher than in 2021. The main reason for the increase in the share of renewable energy for transport is the rise in the consumption of renewable electricity for transport, as electricity consumption for road transport is rapidly growing and also because the share of renewable electricity is increasing rapidly.

Policy objective

The 2023 EU directive Renewable Energy stipulates that in 2030 38 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. 

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, 2023) 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. 

European data

Data on the share of renewable energy in other European countries can be accessed at Eurostat (2024a,b) and EurObserv’ER (2023).

Statistical transfer

In 2020 there was a statistical transfer. With a statistical transfer, one European Member State administratively purchases a quantity of renewable energy from another Member State that has achieved its target and has a surplus. Such a transfer does not involve the physical flow of renewable energy. The principle of statistical transfers was already agreed in 2009 in the first version of the EU Renewable Energy Directive because of its flexibility and the possibilities for cost efficiency.

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Reference of this webpage

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2024). Renewable energy use, 1990-2022 (indicator 0385, version 37,

) 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.