How green is the electricity you use? This is what the Dutch Association for Nature and the Environment (Stichting Natuur and Milieu) and the 12 provincial environmental federations are asking visitors to their website www.stroomscore.nl in an effort to make consumers more aware of the differences in the environmental impact of their power supply. The NGOs asked CE to determine the ‘fuel mix’ and CO2 emissions behind all the various ‘green’ and ‘grey’ electricity packages being marketed by Dutch suppliers. The results are now up for inspection at the Dutch Consumers Union’s energy website www.energiebond.nl.
The CO2 emissions of the ‘grey’ power vary from 0.48 to 0.63 kg CO2/kWh, depending above all on the share of cogeneration and nuclear in the supply, these sources having substantially lower CO2 emission factors. Another key factor is the ratio between coal and gas, the fuels most commonly used for power generation in the Netherlands, with gas causing far lower CO2 emissions than coal (by a factor 2). ‘Green’ power is provided above all by biomass and to a lesser degree wind, with solar and hydropower making only a fractional contribution.
At the regulatory level, the main emphasis until now has been on what information should be made available to consumers, with far less discussion of how suppliers are to provide that information.