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maritime sector


oil & gas

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oil & gas


Holland is an innovative source of sustainable energy solutions

The Netherlands has embraced a courageous vision: by 2050, the country will have a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy system in which CO2 emissions have been halved and 40 percent of electricity is derived from sustainable sources. The remaining 60 percent of electricity will come from gas, nuclear fuel and modern coal-powered plants using Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology. By 2020, the goal is to have increased sustainable energy use by 20 percent.

The government is investing 7.5 billion euros in energy efficiency, sustainable energy and CO2 reduction. Innovation and public-private partnerships are key to the Dutch approach: the government, private sector, and academia co-operate on topics such as green materials, built environment, sustainable mobility, chain efficiency, sustainable electricity, new gas, and greenhouses as a source of energy. 

The Netherlands aims to achieve 6,000 MW of wind power and is experimenting with energy from waves, algae and biomass. The Dutch are also developing Smart Grids, which facilitate new developments such as electric vehicles. In addition, the country is establishing itself as a European leader in both natural gas and green gas.

Key aspects and strengths

- 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. Rotterdam plans to account for 10 percent of the European Union’s import, production and export of bio ethanol and 25 percent of its bio diesel. 

- The Netherlands is a global pioneer in Carbon Capture and Storage technology, and is conducting various pilot projects. It also has the largest CO2 storage capacity in Europe after Norway. An estimated 9,000 million tonnes of CO2 can be pumped into empty gas fields.

- The Netherlands has an international reputation for research in renewable energy, due, in part, to the work of the Energy Research Centre. The Netherlands ranks 6th worldwide with regard to patent applications involving solar 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. 

- 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. 

- The Dutch have developed innovative solutions in decentralised energy production in greenhouses, CO2 ‘recycling’ and waste heat utilisation for their energy intensive horticulture industry. 

Facts & Figures

- In 2009, net electricity production from renewable sources represented almost 9 per cent of net electricity consumption, growing from 7.5 percent in 2008. The most significant renewable energy sources in the Netherlands were wind energy, which accounted for almost 4 percent of net electricity consumption, and biomass, accounting for over 4.7 percent.

- In 2009, 14.8 percent of net electricity consumption was accounted for by imports of 'green' electricity.

- Biomass accounts for almost two-thirds of the sustainable energy currently used in the Netherlands. Biomass is the simplest of all the sustainable options to integrate into energy management. Obtaining bioenergy from biomass may involve combustion, gasification, fermentation, or the production of liquid biofuels.

- The most important bioenergy sources are biomass additives and fuel in power plants, biofuels for motor vehicles, and energy from waste incineration plants.

- Wind energy has developed substantially in recent years and now accounts for more than 30 per cent of all sustainable energy used in the Netherlands.

- The Dutch government’s target is to achieve 6,000 MW of wind energy onshore and 6,000 MW offshore by 2020.

- Dutch energy company Nuon opened its Helianthos pilot plant on 24 June 2009, which uses innovative optimization methods for thin film solar panels.

Source: Holland Trade, Energy