There are many options available to find a green energy provider in Amsterdam.
Many companies now offer sustainable options so you probably should not be supporting a company with your business if they are not providing green energy or actively developing sustainable energy alternatives [footnote]The only reason being if you cannot afford the slightly higher cost.[/footnote].
If you’re looking for a new green power (
When I moved to the Netherlands, one of the first things to do was start the connection for my energy and water. It was late January so I didn’t want to risk no heat and having to shower with cold water! Conveniently, already at my doorstep was a letter from Liander (a network operator) and Nuon (an energy provider). I foolishly assumed the energy markets were regulated so I proceeded to set up my connection with Nuon.
What I didn’t realize is that since 2004, there is a free energy market in the Netherlands. Since then, consumers have had the choice between different energy providers that serve their residence [footnote]Note: the distribution network operator is still fixed by region. In my case in North Holland, this is Liander.[/footnote].
You Have a Choice!
I didn’t realize I had a choice in energy providers! Just because the current resident had used Nuon did not mean that I had to. I didn’t know this at the time, but I really wish I did as Nuon’s green credentials are less than stellar. As of 2016, only 6% of its electricity supply was generated from renewable energy sources for the consumer market [footnote]Per the 2016 annual report, Nuon’s electricity sources are as follows: natural gas (49%), coal (29%), miscellaneous (13%), hydro (1%), nuclear (3%), and wind (5%). [/footnote]. Therefore, I set out to find the perfect green energy provider in Amsterdam.
If you’re interested in further minimizing your impact in everyday life, read this post next about living more sustainably in Amsterdam.
What is Green Electricity and Green Gas?
Green Electricity in Amsterdam
I define green electricity or renewable energy in Amsterdam as electricity generated from 4 sources: wind, solar, hydropower, and biomass.
The below is a list of companies that offer 100% green electricity at my residence. Note that energy providers may offer different product mixes to different areas of the country. The chart below also provides a breakdown by source if you have a preference. For example, I personally do not like hydro power because the construction and use of dams have a measurable impact on the aquatic ecosystem. That is not to say that wind, solar, and biomass do not impact ecosystems – they do. It’s simply my personal preference.
Green Gas in Amsterdam
When a company offers green gas, it can mean one of two things:
- Biogas: produced from the breakdown of organic matter (from landfill, household, or animal waste). This is a sustainable alternative to natural gas because the production and use of the biogas results in a closed-loop cycle with no additional release of CO2.
- CO2 compensated natural gas: fossil-fuel based natural gas, with compensation provided (i.e. planting new trees, providing funding for sustainable energy projects, etc.) to offset CO2 emissions. While this is better than not compensating for CO2, it’s important to note that CO2 is not the biggest issue with natural gas, but rather, the release of methane from the extraction of the natural gas.
With both options, you have no guarantees that the actual gas you receive was sourced in a green way because all gas, whether biogas or natural gas, is delivered through the same underground gas pipes. However, by opting for green gas, you are providing support for the energy companies that are investing towards a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.
Local Green Electricity Providers – Generated in the Netherlands
Here are a list of green energy providers which generate electricity from within Holland. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that all their electricity is generated within the Netherlands, but rather, it is an option that you can choose to support. Sourcing energy locally may result in different costs.
- Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij
- Pure Energie
Green Gas Providers in Amsterdam
- Pure Energie
Featured: Green Energy Provider in Amsterdam
Pure Energie generates all of its own solar and wind power within the Netherlands so you’re assured that your energy is green and locally produced. You can actually view a map of all their windmills and choose from which location you want to source your energy. Additionally, 10% of profits is donated to charity to support sustainability, the environment, and society.
If you’re interested in green energy, but want to save costs by cutting out the “middle-man”, you can obtain green energy directly from smaller, local energy producers. Vandebron provides you the opportunity to connect to a local, Netherlands-based energy producer so you know exactly how, and from where, your energy is coming from.
It’s interesting because you get to learn the background of your energy as they all come with a little story. For example, there is this dairy farm just outside of Utrecht that installed solar panels on top of the barns in 2015 to become energy-neutral. The panels, however, generate enough energy to power 80 households, which is way more than he needed for his own properties. Vandebron is able to match suppliers (with excess energy) to customers (who need energy), cutting out the middle man, to bring more profit to the supplier and lower prices for the customers. Vandebron arranges the transfer and makes no profit on the your energy consumption.
Vrijopnaam generates 100% solar energy within the Netherlands. Their mission is to have everyone generate solar energy for themselves. When you sign up, you receive a free solar panel within one of their solar parks in your name – you own it! Extra panels can be purchased for EUR 99. If you no longer need your panels, you can sell them back to the company. This process is similar to installing solar panels on your roof, but more practical for those that rent or do not own a property on the top floor. By supporting this company by purchasing a solar company and letting them connect you, you’re also promoting the investment of sustainable solar energy in the Netherlands.
A More Sustainable Netherlands
I always thought the Netherlands was committed to sustainable energy and at the forefront of environmental initiatives, but in reality, it seems we are quite the laggards of the EU. Let’s change this!
In 2009, the EU member states made commitments on how much of a country’s energy consumption would have to be derived by renewable sources by 2020. For the Netherlands, this was committed was set at 14%. The country is currently not on target to reach its 2020 goals, but we could potentially get there if more people educated themselves about green energy providers in Amsterdam to make the switch to sustainable energy.
Source: International Energy Agency
As of the end of 2016:
- The Netherlands derive 5.5% of its energy from renewable sources.
- Per the EU Renewable Energy Directive, the Netherlands should have achieved 7.6% renewable energy to stay on-course for 2020.
- To date, 11 of the 28 member countries have already achieved their 2020 goal.
- Being a low-land country, the Netherlands is at high risk of flooding due to rising sea levels caused by global warming.
- However, easy access to natural gas and a well-developed natural gas distribution network may be de-incentivizing energy companies to make a faster switch.
Switch to a Green Energy Provider in Amsterdam
Besides government mandates, consumer demand is truly what drives energy companies to invest and offer green energy choices. Many pioneering companies are offering consumers the option for sustainable, green energy in Amsterdam. It may not be the cheapest option, but it is a decision that will echo far into the future. Those who truly consider themselves environmentally-conscious individuals should assess if the difference in cost for green energy is worth it to them.
We all need to work together to save the planet. Energy providers need to continue to invest in green energy sources. Governments should keep progressing to comply with agreed-upon environmental targets. And we, as consumers, need to make the right choices by educating ourselves to support the companies that align with our values of environmental stewardship.