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The energy transition in the Netherlands has reached an important milestone. In 2023, as much as 17% of all energy was derived from renewable sources, up two percentage points from the previous year.

According to CBS figures, this increase is due to notable growth in wind and solar energy, which together account for an 11% increase in renewable energy consumption. Thus, the 2013 energy agreement was achieved, and despite a decline in energy from biomass, we see a strong rise in heat pumps.

Challenges and triumphs in renewable energy

Wind energy’s growth experienced an extraordinary 25% increase. This is partly due to new offshore wind farms and new installations on land in provinces such as Flevoland, North Brabant, and Zeeland. Solar energy also contributed a 17% increase, with the capacity of solar panels rising to more than 24 gigawatts.

A drop in biomass, a rise in heat pumps

Despite the positive developments, biomass energy saw a noticeable decline, with biomass deployment in power plants decreasing by 31%. However, at the same time, the deployment of renewable energy from biomass boilers for electricity production in companies increased by as much as 61%, partly because a greater proportion of the biomass deployed now meets European sustainability criteria.

The rise of heat pumps is also a notable trend. More Dutch households and businesses have embraced this alternative heating method, resulting in a 26% increase in the amount of heat extracted. This indicates a growing acceptance of technologies that help reduce carbon emissions.

European ambitions and Dutch reality

In the midst of this domestic progress, new targets have been set at the European level. On average, 42.5% of European energy consumption must be renewable by 2030. Although the exact implications for the Netherlands are still unclear, achieving the target set in the 2013 Energy Agreement shows that the Dutch approach is bearing fruit.

These developments place the Netherlands in a new position within Europe. In 2022, the share of renewable energy in the Netherlands was still below the European average of 23%. Recent growth may help the Netherlands catch up and move closer to leaders such as Sweden, Finland, and Latvia, which reported 66%, 48%, and 43% renewable energy in 2022.