Dutch power plants use more coal for 4th consecutive year

Zwolle IJsselcentrale
Zwolle IJsselcentrale, a coal-powered electricity plant. April 2006OnderwijsgekWikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

Electricity production from coal in Dutch power plants increased for the fourth year in a row in 2015, according to Statistics Netherlands. Last year 39 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity was generated using coal, a 35 percent increase compared to 2014.

Coal generated electricity reached its highest level since 1990 last year. While the electricity produced with natural gas dropped by 9 percent to 46 billion kWh, the lowest level since 1996. Energy consumption remained about level at 118 billion kWh.

According to Statistics Netherlands, there are several reasons for the increase in coal power. A few new coal plants opened in the Netherlands since 2013. Coal prices also dropped and in 2013 part of the subsidies for biomass power ended.

Electricity generation from renewable sources increased from 11.7 billion kWh in 2014 to 13.7 billion kWh last year. For the first time since 2012 the contribution of renewable energy to the total electricity production in the Netherlands increased. Renewable electricity's share amounted to 12.4 percent last year, compared to 11.3 percent in 2014.