The Netherlands has a strong standing in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency and a leading position in wind energy at sea, biomass processing and greenhouse farming. The energy sector contributes substantially to Dutch national income, exports and employment. The government has therefore opted for a modern industry policy aimed at making better use of the economic opportunities for both green and grey energy.
Clean reliable and affordable
A sustainable and robust energy supply is crucial as a motor of economic growth and for the wellbeing of society as a whole: it must be clean, reliable and affordable. Themes such as the internationalisation of the energy markets and reduction of CO2 are essential in achieving these higher goals. Growing demand for sustainable energy creates many new opportunities within the energy sector, such as generation, transport and trade in energy. The Netherlands has a solid basis for further energy growth – it’s geographical location with many kilometres of coastline for wind-power; the powerhouse of key European harbours in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Antwerp (ARA); and significant natural gas reserves and the presence of a strong gas infrastructure, provide a basis from which to grow to become the energy-hub of Europe.
5 strengths of Dutch renewable energy
1. A courageous vision for 2050
The Netherlands has embraced a courageous vision: by 2050, the country will have a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy system. As part of this, the Dutch aim to cut CO2 emissions by half to generate some 40 percent of our electricity from sustainable sources like wind at sea and biomass by that time. Carbon emissions will be reduced by a combination which involves increasing the portion of renewable energy, energy saving, nuclear energy and Carbon Capture and Storage. By 2020, the European Renewable Energy Directive sets the target of 14% renewable energy.
2. Experimenting with decentralised energy
The Netherlands is experimenting with energy from waves, algae and biomass and the Dutch have developed innovative solutions in decentralised energy production in greenhouses, CO2 ‘recycling’ and waste heat utilisation for their energy intensive horticulture industry. As a result, compared to other countries, the proportion of installed decentralized capacity in the Netherlands is very high.
3. Europe’s leader in green gas
The Netherlands has established itself as a pivotal player in the European gas market. The country is not only a major natural gas producer and the source of advanced gas technology, it is also Europe’s leading gas broker. Fifty years of experience in organising public-private partnerships to manage the gas business turned the country into a European gas hub. The Dutch have unmatched capacity to cope with seasonal fluctuations in gas demand, providing north-western Europe with much-needed flexibility. Renowned institutes such as the Groningen Energy Delta Institute train people from all across the globe. In addition, the Netherlands is establishing itself as leader in green gas.
4. Great experience in energy efficiency and an international reputation for research in renewable energy
There is extensive experience in the field of energy efficiency due to a long tradition of multi-annual voluntary agreements on energy efficiency between Dutch industry and the government. This has made Dutch industry one of the most energy efficient in the world. Holland has an international reputation for research in renewable energy, for instance in the field of solar energy, with institutes
such as FOM and ECN, as well as various universities. The Dutch team from Delft University of Technology has won the World Solar Challenge, the biennial competition for solar cars, in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
5. Leading expertise in offshore wind energy & aims to become ‘Europe’s bio fuel hub’
The Dutch have leading expertise in offshore wind energy, co-combustion of biomass in coal-fired power plants, pre-treatment methods of biomass, the use of landfill gas, and the use of heat pumps combined with heat and cold storage. With its location at the heart of Europe and the logistical, petrochemical and industrial centre around the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands aims to become Europe’s bio fuel hub.