Conventional thermal power will continue to dominate the supply mix in the Netherlands

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6 August 2012, Electricity, Nuclear, Solar, Wind

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The future electricity landscape is forecast to remain dominated by conventional thermal generation, albeit with an increasing element of renewable energy in the mix. Datamonitor expects that with the current rate of renewable project completion, the Netherlands will come close to having almost 20% of its total net production from renewable sources.

Conventional thermal power plants currently account for over 85% of power generation in the Netherlands. As in the UK, conventional thermal generation is expected to remain the primary source of electricity generation out to 2030, with natural gas making up over 30% of the generation mix in 2030. However, sources of renewable generation as well as nuclear will grow the fastest, but from lower bases.

Of note is Datamonitor's expectation that the Netherlands will change from being a net importer of electricity to a net exporter from 2013. Natural gas reserves currently exceed 38 trillion cubic feet and form the major source of conventional thermal power generation, far ahead of coal. Datamonitor expects that the lower natural gas prices will impact the import/export ratio such that the country becomes a net exporter, with a compounded annual growth rate of 16% to 2030 in net exports.

A second point of note is that nuclear generation is set to grow the fastest. Datamonitor forecasts that two new nuclear reactors will come online in the 2020s, leading to more than five times the level of generation in 2030 than at present.

By 2030, the share of renewable generation is expected to double to 24% of the mix. The balance of renewables is forecast to be quite different in 2030: the proportion of renewable generation that comes from wind will increase to 63%, up from 52% in 2012, to the detriment of bioenergy. In fact, generation from wind is forecast to be more than double the amount of bioenergy generation in 2030.

On the demand side, transport demand is forecast to grow the most, driven by a sustained increase in demand for electric vehicles. Commercial and industrial sector demand is expected to grow moderately. Residential demand is expected to grow very gradually, dampened in part by government-led energy-efficiency measures, smart metering, and more efficient electrical appliances.

Source: Datamonitor

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