Green energy losing out to cheap coal in Netherlands
The Dutch electricity supply has become dirtier over the past year, instead of greener. The main reason for this is the low coal prices. Energy companies burned 5 percent more coal than in 2013, increasing the share of coal-fired power generation from 24 percent to 29 percent. This is according to the annual ranking of renewable energy providers by environmental- and consumer organizations Consumentenbond, Greenpeace, Hivos, Natuur & Milleu, WNF and WISE, the Volkskrant reports. All 37 electricity suppliers in the Dutch market were valued for sustainability for the rankings. Most of these suppliers do not produce electricity themselves, but sell electricity producers in the Netherlands or abroad. These companies' performance in terms of investments in sustainable energy and the production, supply and purchase of electricity were weighed for their scores. Many electricity suppliers scored lower on the rankings this year. The average grade of all the electricity companies decreased from 5.7 to 5.5. Only eight companies scored a sufficient this year, one less than last year. The two largest energy companies, Nuon and Essent, were once again at the bottom of the list, scoring insufficients with 3.9 and 3.0 respectively. Eneco, which is known as a sustainable company, dropped from 6.8 to 6.2. The main reason for Eneco's lower score is a poorer assessment of the energy company's procurement. Only a few small electricity suppliers got high scores. But their contribution to the total Dutch electricity market is very small. The market share of the seven front runners only amounts to 3.3 percent of the total supply. Three small companies scored full marks (10): De Unie, Pure Energie and Qurrent Nederland, all suppliers of wind energy. Seven electricity suppliers refused to cooperate in the study, including Essent, Nuon, GDF Suez, EON and the smaller trade organizations Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij and Budget Energie. But according to the researchers, the cooperation of the large companies were unnecessary as all their information is available from public sources.