Energy consumption in the Netherlands was 1.3 percent up in 2012 from 2011. The higher consumption is due to the cold weather conditions compared to 2011 according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands. The petrochemical industry also used more oil products.
The consumption of petroleum (derivatives) increased by 3.3 percent. In spite of the recession, foreign demand for Dutch petrochemical products picked up. As a result, the use of oil products in petrochemical industry grew. These products were used as raw material for plastics. Oil consumption in the transport sector fell marginally, because filling stations sold less petrol and diesel.
Coal consumption higher
Coal consumption rose sharply by 10 percent last year. More coal was used for electricity generation (+ 16 percent). This has to do with the coal price. Last year, coal was relatively cheap compared to natural gas. Overall electricity consumption in the Netherlands fell by approximately 2 percent in 2012. The fact that several large-scale consumers went bankrupt played an important part in this respect.
Natural gas consumption at lowest level since 1990
Natural gas consumption dropped by more than 4 percent in 2012, reaching the lowest consumption level since 1990. The decline is caused by the fact that the amount of gas used for electricity generation fell by no less than 16 percent relative to 2011, but the consumption of natural gas to generate heat increased by 6 percent due to the cold weather conditions in 2012 compared to 2011.