Netherlands to appoint flexibility coordinator as grid bottlenecks recur

Netherlands to appoint flexibility coordinator as grid bottlenecks recur

As grid congestion continues to prove a pain point for grid operators in the Netherlands, Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy Policy of the Netherlands Rob Jetten has announced his intention to appoint a flexibility coordinator.

Minister Jetten made the announcement during an update to the House of Representatives on the situation of the Netherlands’ electricity grid and on the country’s National Network Congestion Action Plan (LAN) to reduce the scarcity of transmission capacity.

Although the Netherlands has seen billions of euros funnelled into grid management – the final tender was awarded for the €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) network upgrade at the same time as Jetten’s update – demand for transmission capacity in the country continues to climb faster than operators can build.

Said Jetten in his room letter: “Flexibility is the key to prevent the Netherlands from being locked down during the renovation of the electricity grid. The transition from permanent use to more flexible use of the electricity grid does not happen automatically.

“That is why I am appointing a special flexibility coordinator this Summer to solve the bottlenecks and uncertainties in investing in flexibility, so that we can connect companies to the grid much faster than now.”

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In responding to Jetten’s announcement, Dutch association for electrical and gas grid operators Netbeheer Nederland applauded the appointment, citing how grid congestion will remain a concern in the coming years.

According to the association, “the transition from ‘use when you want’ to much more flexible use, like the expansion of the grid, will not be achieved overnight. Flexible use requires major adjustments from everyone: network operators, governments, industry, companies and social organisations.

“These parties are working together to realise grid expansions more quickly and to look for smart solutions to make better use of the existing grid. This is crucial for a sustainable, affordable and reliable electricity system and a strong economy.”

According to Jetten, who cited Netbeheer Nederland, the country has 5,600 companies on a waiting list in need of a larger connection to the grid.

However, in areas in the Netherlands with congestion, he adds, there is still room for flexibility, whereby a user agrees to only use the grid outside peak times, enabling new users to connect despite the grid being full at certain times.