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Electricity in Netherlands in 2022

Global Ranking: #24
43.4% #72 Low-carbon electricity
791.18 watts #41 Generation / person
352.41 gCO2eq/kWh #74 Carbon Intensity
Net exporter Electricity imports

As of 2022, the Netherlands is currently relying on fossil fuels for more than half of its electricity consumption, with gas being the most significant contributor at 40%. Coal makes up about 12%, making its combined total with gas to approximately 56.59%. Despite the dominant presence of fossil fuels, there is a substantial effort to transition towards low-carbon energy, which makes up nearly 43.41% of total electricity consumption. Wind and solar energy make up the largest portion of this, constituting around 17% and 15% respectively, with biofuels adding nearly 8% and nuclear energy contributing a modest 3.4%. Hydropower and unspecified renewables mark an almost negligible presence with 0.05% and 0.02% respectively. It's worth noting that the Netherlands is a net exporter of electricity, producing more power than it consumes domestically.


Looking forward, the Netherlands can continue to increase low-carbon electricity generation through the expansion of existing wind and solar infrastructure. At the same time, it would be prudent to study the experiences of countries that are excelling in this field. Denmark, for instance, generates a significant 52% of its electricity through wind power, a model that could be replicated given the abundance of wind resources in the Netherlands. Belgium and Slovenia, countries that are not dissimilar in size to the Netherlands, have effectively incorporated nuclear energy into their power grids, contributing 47% and 38% respectively to their electricity generation. These examples could serve as blueprints for the Netherlands to diversify and increase its low-carbon energy sources.


In tracing the history of low-carbon electricity in the Netherlands, there have been considerable fluctuations and incremental gains over the past few decades. The late-90s saw an initial decrease in nuclear power generation by -1.8 TWh in 1997, before recovering slightly the following year. The early 2000s marked a rise in biofuels, though this was met with a slight downturn by 2007, before steadily increasing again. As we move further into the 21st century, we observe a notable surge in wind and solar power in the last decade. Solar power, in particular, has seen consistent growth year-on-year from 2018, with an impressive leap of 6.2 TWh in 2022. Wind power too, while seeing considerable increments, has witnessed a matching increase in both 2021 and 2022. Contrastingly, biofuels saw a decrease in 2022, reversing some of the gains made in the preceding years. It is evident in this journey that the Netherlands is actively working towards a balanced, diverse, and low-carbon energy mix for its electricity generation needs.

Data Sources

For the years 1975 to 1984 the data sources are World Bank and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1985 to 1989 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 2019 the data source is IEA.
For the year 2020 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 2021 to 2022 the data source is Ember.