Energy market

The energy market is constantly changing and becoming increasingly complex. Nevertheless, we always want a realistic picture of the market. Supply and demand determine prices, production and distribution. This is the case in the gas and electricity markets. Demand for energy usually drives up the price, while an oversupply leads to a fall in prices. Suppliers strive to offer the most attractive prices and services. Consumers and producers base their choices on expected prices. The same principles apply to the wholesale electricity and gas markets. Bilateral transactions can be concluded here. Or trading on various segments from the long-term market to the day-ahead market or imbalance markets. On this page you will find information about the Dutch energy market, the companies that are active in it and the economic activities they carry out.

Number of enterprises in the energy market 2023 – Source: CBS

Companies in the Dutch energy market

There are some 2,000 players in the Dutch energy market, from large to small. Each energy company has its own main economic activity. For instance, 55% of the companies mainly works on the production of energy from solar (29%), wind (21%), and conventional energy or nuclear power plants (5%). The main activity of another 27% of the companies is gas and electricity distribution. 10% mainly trades in gas and electricity and another 5.5% are mostly busy with managing electricity, gas, and heating grids and networks. The remaining 2.5% of the companies is focused on the production and extraction of gas, oil, and thermal.

Dutch energy import, export, and extraction (in PJ) – Source: CBS

Where does the Netherlands gets its energy from?

Most Dutch energy companies focus on energy production. Some of it is destined for export. On balance, the Netherlands imports more energy than it exports. This makes our country a net importer, as you can see in the chart to the left. This chart also shows how international trade in energy has evolved over the past 30 years. Both imports and exports have been increasing for years. However, energy extraction in the Netherlands itself has been declining since 2013. This is due to the scaling down of gas extraction in Groningen.

Dutch electricity import, export, and generation (in mln kWh) – Source: CBS

The Netherlands becomes electricity exporter

For a long time, the Netherlands was a net importer of electricity. This has changed in recent years. The chart to the left shows that Dutch electricity exports have been rising since 1998. 2019 was the first year our country was a net exporter of electricity – a welcome development beneficial to the Dutch economy.

Dutch electricity import and export by country 2022 (in GWh) – Source: CBS

With which countries does the Netherlands exchange electricity?

The Netherlands has interconnections with Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom (UK). This means that the Netherlands can exchange electricity with these five countries via existing energy grids. Belgium and Germany are traditionally the main trade partners. In 2022, the Netherlands imported almost 5000 PJ from Belgium and 7000 PJ from Germany. The exports to each of these countries amounted to more than 8000 PJ. The Netherlands exported 3700 PJ to the UK and 2000 PJ of British electricity was imported. This makes the Netherlands a net exporter of electricity in the trade relations with Belgium, Germany, and the UK. However, in its trade relationship with Denmark and Norway, the Netherlands is a net importer of electricity. In 2022, the Netherlands imported 2700 PJ of Danish electricity and 1800 PJ of Norwegian electricity. In the same year, the exports to Denmark amounted to 1300 PJ and only 400 PJ were exported to Norway.