The Netherlands, land of windmills, uses the least renewable energy in the EU

Figures released by Eurostat show that the Netherlands used the least renewable energy in the entirety of the European Union in 2018, RTL Nieuws reports. The Netherlands derived only 7.4 percent of its energy from renewable sources that year.

The Netherlands barely reached the half-way point to its renewable energy goal for 2018

That number is miles away from what it should be: in 2018, the Netherlands was supposed to have gotten 14 percent of its energy from renewables. Yes, you read that correctly: the Netherlands was barely half-way to its goal for 2018.

The EU as a whole looks set to succeed, luckily

The good news is that the European Union as a whole looks set to achieve its 2020 target of getting 20 percent of its power from renewables: in 2018, the collective figure was 18 percent. It shouldn’t be too much trouble to get the last two percent done by 2020.

Sweden gets the majority of its power from renewable energy- 54 percent, the highest percentage in the whole of the European Union. They have already well exceeded their 2020 target, which was 49 percent.

The Netherlands has fallen in the ranking since 2017

The figures of 2018 present an even grimmer picture of the Netherlands’ energy consumption than those of 2017, when the Netherlands came second to last, followed by Luxembourg. In 2018, though, Luxembourg pulled its socks up and hit 9 percent- admittedly a paltry figure still, but better than the Netherlands.

The Netherlands: famous for windmills no more

In a country that is famous for its windmills and blustery days, this figure is pretty embarrassing. The Netherlands also has huge potential for tidal energy, so it is not as though we have no option but to rely on fossil fuels.

Households can choose renewable energy

Usually, in environmental debates, there is the caveat that the individual consumer cannot change much without government action. But, in this case, things are different, and you as the consumer do have quite a bit of power. Most of the time, in the Netherlands, you can choose the energy company that supplies your house with power. Two of them- vandebron.nl and greenchoice.nl– draw their energy from renewables.

The Netherlands does well on other sustainability related issues

If you’re feeling as irritated as we are about this embarrassingly low number, then there are proactive things you can do to deal with the climate crisis. Furthermore, there are aspects of sustainability that the Netherlands is doing well on: especially innovation (think The Ocean Clean Up, for example) and public transport (NS trains run entirely on renewables).

Nonetheless, this number should serve as a wake up call to the Netherlands: we need to do better, and quickly.

Were you shocked by this number? Let us know your thoughts on the Netherlands’ renewable energy situation down below. 

Feature image: sarangib/Pixabay. 

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.

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