Netherlands' coal consumption declined by 10 percent year-on-year in 2016 while natural gas consumption rose by nearly 30 percent during the same period, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) announced on Thursday.
In accordance with the agreement on Energy for Sustainable Growth in 2013, the country is committed to phasing out coal-fired power plants dating from the 1980s, which have relatively low efficiency rates, the statement showed.
"Three of these plants, together accounting for a capacity of nearly 2 gigawatts (GW), were closed down in 2015. Phasing out these plants contributed directly to the decline in coal consumption," the CBS explained.
In July 2017, the last few coal-fired power plants from the 1980s with a joint capacity of 1 gigawatt will be closed down, it added.
On the other hand, natural gas consumption, which has seen a decline between 2010 and 2015, has increased in 2016 by nearly 30 percent.
The price drop of natural gas by 30 to 40 percent in 2016 was seen as the main contributing factor to the change aside from the shutdown of coal plants.
"Power station output rose by over 4 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2016, reaching the highest level in history with a total of 76.7 billion kWh," the CBS added.
This upsurge is specifically related to declining electricity imports; in 2016 by 6.5 billion kWh, CBS argued, adding that electricity exports declined as well, by 2.7 billion kWh.
By Ebru Sengul