Dutch electricity production hits new record

Dutch electricity production hits new record

Electricity production in the Netherlands amounted to 118 billion KWh in 2010. This is 4 percent more than in 2009, according to Statistics Netherlands. It was the fourth year in succession that Dutch electricity production reached a new record.

Last year, electricity production was nearly 5 billion kWh higher than in 2009. By comparison: an average household used about 3.3 thousand kWh in 2010. The increase in production is mainly accounted for by plants that generate electricity by combustion of fuels such as natural gas, coal and biomass and supply the national high voltage power grid.

Production by these so-called thermal plants rose by 4 billion kWh to 76 billion kWh. Part of the increase was due to new gas-fired plants becoming operational. The remaining 0.5 billion kWh was accounted for by decentralised plants which supply regional grids or produce power for their own use.

In the Netherlands, electricity is mostly produced by combustion of fossil fuels. If cogeneration, or combined heat and power (CHP) is used, the heat emitted can be used for other purposes such as district heating, heating in aid of manufacturing processes or to heat glasshouses.

In 2009 and 2010 the growth in CHP power stagnated. In the years before that, from 2004 to 2008, it grew by an average 6 percent per year. Most of this increase was accounted for by decentralised power of gas engines in horticulture under glass.

Although the input of fossil fuels for electricity production has risen in the last 15 years, the share of fossil fuels in the total input for electricity generation has fallen slightly. In 1995 around 90 percent of electricity was still generated with the aid of fossil fuels. This had fallen to 84 percent in 2010.

The main reason for this reduction is that the amount of electricity generated using renewable sources increased from around 2 percent in 1995 to over 9 percent in 2010. This increase was mainly realised by using wind energy and biomass.

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