Grid operator warns of power shortage in 2030

Fri 13 January 2023

Last week, the national grid operator Tennet reported that there may not always be enough electricity in the Netherlands in 2030. In a report for the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the grid operator writes that shortages in power production could arise in seven years. "As a result, the desired electricity demand may not be fully met at all hours of the year."

The security of electricity supply in the Netherlands is still extremely high from an international perspective (99.99 percent). But Tennet sees that this is changing because of the increasing dependence on the weather and the increasing demand for electricity.

Dependent on sun and wind
The used electricity increasingly comes from the sun and wind. In the coming years, the Netherlands will quickly catch up with the backlog it has in Europe when it comes to the use of sustainable energy. The popularity of solar panels on the roofs of homes and businesses has exceeded all expectations. Furthermore, the first large offshore wind farms are being realised and more will follow. At the same time, coal and gas-fired power plants are closing to comply with climate agreements.

Shortage of adjustable power
As long as the wind blows and the sun shines, there is no problem. There are also still enough coal and gas-fired power stations to generate electricity when it is dark or cloudy, and their capacity is adjustable. Without coal and gas-fired power stations, creating the adjustable capacity will be a lot more difficult. Hydrogen and large batteries can offer a solution, but both are (still) relatively expensive and their development is slower than the growth of the demand. It is also possible with new nuclear power stations: the government opted for two extra reactors in Borssele at the beginning of December. However, they will not be ready until 2035 at the earliest.

Much more demand for electricity
The closure of coal-fired power stations and the desire to move away from gas more quickly are also leading to an increase in homes, buildings and factories that are switching from gas to electricity. This development has accelerated in the past year because of the war in Ukraine, as a result of which Europe wants to get rid of Russian gas. It is already leading to problems in the port of Rotterdam, for example, because companies want to switch to electricity faster than the grid managers can lay cables. Waiting lists have recently arisen in various provinces for companies that want to expand their electricity consumption.

More electricity and flexibility
Tennet advocates more European cooperation. The Netherlands already has power cable connections with Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom. The grid operator proposes to further expand that capacity. For example, Norway has electricity from hydropower and the United Kingdom has electricity from nuclear energy. This can compensate for a lack of sun and wind at certain moments. Grid operators also want more flexibility from the customer. They would have to purchase more electricity in the event of a surplus and less in the event of a shortage, and pay less in exchange for this.

What can you do?
Do you have to deal with the conservation of current and voltage and their quality in your professional environment? On March 23 and 24, PAOTM organizes the course Power quality. Under the supervision of prof.dr. Sjef Cobben of TU/e you will learn all about the causes and sources that reduce the quality of power and what solutions there are for traditional and new technologies.

Source: NOS


Share this page