Netherlands Energy and Environment Facts

Natural resources, energy and environment

The Netherlands has few natural resources, with the exception of natural gas and fertile soil. There are also small oil deposits, mainly in the North Sea. In addition, salt, limestone and sand are extracted.

Extraction of natural gas has occurred since 1959, especially near the city of Groningen in the north and in the North Sea. For a long time, the gas was extracted by state companies but in 2004 a privatization was completed. The Netherlands has been one of the world’s largest gas exporters. But the extraction of gas in Groningen, which is the world’s largest natural gas field, more than halved between 2012 and 2018 and will cease until 2030. The Netherlands is now a net importer of natural gas.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Netherlands with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.

Natural gas accounted for over half of electricity generation for a long time, but has declined. Instead, the use of coal power has increased and amounts to more than one third of production. Oil is also used and to a lesser extent nuclear power. The development of nuclear power has been interrupted for environmental reasons. Only one nuclear power plant is in use, in Borssele.

According to a 2013 energy deal between the government and the social partners, older coal-fired power plants will be phased out and all energy will come from renewable sources in 2050. However, that figure was just over 6 percent in 2018, the second lowest share in the EU. The most common renewable energy source is biomass, but efforts are now being made not least on wind power. In January 2017, the state railway company NS reported that all train traffic is now powered by electricity from wind power.

  • Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, NL stands for Netherlands. Visit itypeusa for more information about Netherlands.

The extremely densely populated country, including intensive agriculture, has considerable environmental problems. This applies to least eutrophication, emissions of heavy metals and acid rain. However, considerable resources are devoted to solving the problems (see also Agriculture and Fisheries and Industry).

The Netherlands is particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change, as parts of the country are below sea level and have been recovered from the sea (see Geography and Climate).


Energy use per person

4,233 kilos of oil equivalent (2015)

Electricity consumption per person

6713 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions in total

167 303 thousand tons (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant

9.9 tonnes (2014)

The share of energy from renewable sources

5.9 percent (2015)



Government crisis averted

A threatening government crisis is averted after a proposal for a new health insurance law has been withdrawn. The law should now be reviewed, the government says. The law had been passed in the Second Chamber but unexpectedly fell in the Senate, when three Labor Party members unexpectedly voted against the government’s proposal. The law was intended to reduce the state’s health care expenditure by EUR 1 billion.

Geert Wilder is prosecuted

The State Prosecutor announces that PVV leader Geert Wilders is being indicted for incitement against ethnic groups, since he led a demonstration in March where slogans were shouted against Moroccans. Wilders also spoke on TV about “Moroccan scum”. The Prosecutor has received 6,400 complaints against Wilders (see also June 2011).


Measures against bird flu

An outbreak of a highly contagious form of avian influenza causes both the Dutch authorities and the EU to take special measures. Around 150,000 birds are slaughtered, sales from the affected area are banned and all transport is temporarily stopped throughout the country. The Netherlands normally exports over six billion eggs a year (see also Agriculture and Fisheries).

Victim ceremony in Ukraine crash

Hundreds of relatives and friends of those killed in the crash in Ukraine in July are attending a memorial ceremony in Amsterdam. There is no clarity as to who was behind the shooting, and the remains of many of the victims have not yet been brought back to the Netherlands.


Bombing war against IS in Iraq

The Netherlands joins the US-led alliance of countries that carry out air strikes against the extreme Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq.


Flight disaster in Ukraine

The nation is put in a state of shock and sadness when it is clear that 193 Dutch people perished in a plane crash in Ukraine. Russian-speaking separatists are suspected to have shot down the aircraft belonging to Malaysian Airlines and departed from Amsterdam. Read more about the crash in Ukraine: Calendar.

New judgment on Srebrenica

A court blames the Dutch state on the deaths of over 300 men and boys at the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 (see also September 2013). Relatives of the victims who turned to the court wanted to convict the Netherlands of all the around 8,000 murders committed by the Serbs at the massacre. The Court ruled that it was illegal for the Dutch peacekeeping force to release to the Serbs the 300 men and boys who sought protection at the UN base in Srebrenica, but at the same time concludes that the Netherlands cannot be held responsible for the abduction and murder of all those who were present. off base.


Civil success in EU elections

May 22

In the elections to the European Parliament, the Christian Democratic CDA and the left-wing D66 will be the largest parties, each with about 15 percent of the vote. Geert Wilder’s Islamist right-wing party PVV makes a worse choice than expected with 13 percent of the vote.


The government parties back in local elections

Both the right-wing Liberal VP and Social Democratic Labor Party are losing support in the municipal elections. Christian Democratic CDA is progressing strongly and the left-liberal D66 will be the largest in many cities, including Amsterdam where the PvdA has dominated since the 1940s.

Netherlands Energy and Environment Facts

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