11 October 2023, by Emily Proctor

Energy consumption per person in the Netherlands fell to just 154 gigajoules in 2022, the lowest level seen since 1970. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) says the high cost of energy, caused by the war in Ukraine, is the main reason behind the fall in energy consumption.

Netherlands depended on foreign countries for 77 percent of its energy

In 2022, the Netherlands was heavily dependent on sources of energy imported from abroad, with around 77 percent of the country’s energy originating outside the country. Since the start of October 2023, the country has also stopped using gas from the gas field in Groningen, one of the largest natural gas fields in the world, due to earthquakes in the region. The reliance on energy imported from abroad has not been so high since the country opened the Dutch State Mines, for mining coal, in 1906.

According to Statistics Netherlands, energy consumption per capita reached its peak between 1995 and 2010, and has started to decline since then despite significant population growth since 2013. Data experts at the CBS put this down to milder winters reducing the need for energy during the cold season. 

More than 80 percent of Dutch energy comes from fossil fuels

Until 2018, around 93 percent of energy in the Netherlands came from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. In 2022, this number fell to 83 percent due to increasing reliance on renewable energy sources as the price of gas and oil surged.

Utility bills rose the sharpest following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, after which many people started to cut back on their energy consumption to prevent having to pay higher bills. Now, the price has fallen significantly, so it remains to be seen if energy consumption returns to higher levels.

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