Dutch sustainable energy production will be in 2019 with 13 percent rose on Monday from figures from the Social and Economic Council (SER). Although solar energy grows the fastest, the production of sustainable electricity is highest in the winter months. This is mainly due to the efficiency of wind farms: they generated the most electricity in December, January and March.
The total capacity for wind energy increased by 4 percent in 2019. This increase is expected to continue in the coming year, when new wind farms in the North Sea will also be taken into use.
The fastest growth in the Netherlands currently comes from solar energy. The number of solar panels is growing explosively in the Netherlands. In combination with a relatively sunny year, the production of green energy from solar energy therefore rose by no less than 46 percent in 2019. This is enough to supply two million households with electricity, but nevertheless not more than 4 percent of the total Dutch electricity demand.
The production of electricity and heat from biomass also increased by 13 percent last year. This is the largest official source of sustainable energy in the Netherlands, although a discussion arose last year as to whether the ‘sustainable’ designation was justified in all cases. The gain for climate and environment is low, as increasing use of biomass comes at the expense of forests.
Whether the Netherlands will achieve targets for 2020 is still quite uncertain
Another question is whether the growth of renewable energy is going fast enough to achieve both the energy and climate goals in the Netherlands. Initially, the government had the objective of generating 16 percent of total energy consumption in 2020 in a sustainable manner, but a few years ago it moved on to 2023. The official goal for 2020 is now 14 percent of sustainable energy.
The target for 2023 is expected to be achieved, but it will be for 2020 uncertain. This is partly due to the delay of onshore wind projects. Last year the Netherlands was still in the forefront with the share of renewable energy second-last place of the EU.
In addition, the Netherlands is not on course to meet the 2020 climate target. Three judgments in a row in the Urgenda case state that Dutch greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2020 must be at least 25 percent below 1990 levels in order to make a proportional contribution to the fight against dangerous climate change. An increase in renewable energy is one way to reduce emissions. Approximately the same proportion of emission reductions are usually supplied by various forms of energy saving.
According to Urgenda director Marjan Minnesma, the Netherlands still has a gap in 2020 eighteen million tons of CO2 to close and the size of this gap in earlier calculations considerably underestimated by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.