More sustainable energy than expected in 2023

In the years ahead, households and businesses will use more and more sustainable energy. While the proportion of renewable energy was only 6% in 2016, this figure will nearly triple to 17.3% by 2023. That proportion is well above the target of 16% set out in the Energy Agreement. This information is according to a covering letter on the 2017 National Energy Outlook (NEV) sent to the House of Representatives today by the Minister of Economic Affairs, also on behalf of the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the Minister for the Environment.

The 2017 NEV provides insight into the progress towards the goals stipulated in the Energy Agreement. It is prepared by the Dutch Energy Research Centre (ECN) together with the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), CBS Statistics Netherlands and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs: ‘According to the NEV, the energy transition has yielded encouraging results. The proportion of renewable energy will grow to nearly 24% in 2030, whereas only 20% was expected last year. This increase is primarily due to the successful approach to offshore wind energy. The annual energy conservation rate of 1.7% is the highest that it has been this century. Measures taken in the last government term will ensure that energy consumption and CO2 emissions drop, while at the same time maintaining steady economic growth. This process lays the foundation for achieving the Paris climate goals.’

Additional efforts to increase percentage of renewable energy further

Additional measures announced by the government earlier this year have not yet been included in the 2017 NEV. These additional actions will also bring the 14% renewable energy target for 2020 within reach. According to the 2017 NEV, the expected delay in completing the onshore wind energy projects is now the primary reason why that target has not yet been achieved. This issue was already revealed in the previously published Monitor Wind op Land 2016 (2016 Onshore Wind Monitor). 

For Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs, that situation was a motivation for discussing additional actions with the provinces and municipalities to support the realisation of concrete projects further. Provinces and municipalities themselves have also indicated that they can and should reach the goal of 6,000 megawatt (MW) from onshore wind energy in 2020. In addition, the 2017 NEV has not yet taken into account the effects of the Green Deal for Ultra-deep Geothermal Energy signed in June of this year. This development would allow the industrial sector to be heated more sustainably, among other things.

The 2017 NEV determines the percentage of renewable energy through two calculation methods: based on actual production and based on European calculation rules. The European calculation rules are not aligned well with practices in the Netherlands, resulting in lower values for the percentage of renewable energy  (2020: 12.4%; 2023: 16.7%). Adjustments to these rules will be discussed in consultation with the European Commission.

Greenhouse gas emissions expected to decrease by 25% in 2020

The 2017 NEV's projected greenhouse gas emissions for 2020 remained the same as predicted in the 2016 NEV prognosis. Full achievement of the targets in the Energy Agreement will allow the 25% greenhouse gas reduction requirement to be met, as stated in the Urgenda ruling.