The key driver of this decrease is the closure of several outdated coal-fired plants in mid-2017. However, the power stations that burn natural gas were used more often, which led them to collectively produce more CO2 in 2018, reaching an increase of 1.7 million tonnes compared to 2016.
In 2018 the power sector as a whole, meaning coal and gas-fired plants, released 27% less CO2 than in 2016 (4 million tonnes). What is more, an important new development that can be distilled from the NEA figures is that in 2018, the refineries limited their emissions by 6.6% compared to 2016.
The Rotterdam refineries are also doing quite well in the longer term, as since 2005 they have decreased their CO2 emissions by 20% (2.1 million tonnes), while production in the same period increased by 4%.
In addition, the facilities are making far more low-sulphur products, which is a relatively energy-intensive category. In the meantime, there is an increase in emissions by companies that produce industrial gases. Among others, these companies make hydrogen, which is used to desulphurise fuels.
Finally, the NEA figures regard all companies that fall under the emissions trading scheme. This amounts to 96% of all emissions released by Rotterdam's industrial sector.