In Brabant and Limburg, no new companies will be connected to the electricity grid for the time being. This applies to both the purchase of electricity and the generation. There is also no more room for existing companies that want a heavier connection. The high-voltage grid in both provinces is almost at maximum capacity. Network administrators TenneT and Enexis report this.
The rapid increase in the number of heat pumps, charging stations, new companies and the increasing sustainability of industry means that the capacity of the electricity grid cannot keep up with the explosively increasing demand.
In recent months, more than 800 megawatts of new requests have been added in North Brabant and Limburg. That is comparable to four times the capital of the city of Den Bosch.
Use emergency power
The expansion of the electricity grids is in full swing, but it is taking a lot of time. That is why we are also looking for shorter-term solutions. On Thursday, TenneT reported this to the ACM, the regulator of the energy market.
“We are, among other things, looking at deploying the emergency provision,” says Eefje van Gorp of TenneT. All cabling is duplicated, so that the emergency facility, the ’empty’ cabling, can be used in the event of a breakdown.
“It is not always technically possible, but where it is possible we can connect companies to that emergency facility. That does mean that they are disconnected in the event of a real emergency.” Incidentally, this is only a possible solution for companies that want to dispose of generated electricity, not for customers.
2 billion euros
In order to increase the capacity of the power grid, TenneT will invest approximately two billion euros in both provinces over the next ten years. For example, the existing 380 kV connection (electricity highway) between Geertruidenberg and Maasbracht will be strengthened to transport more electricity. In Brabant, work continues on new high-voltage substations in Halsteren, Boxmeer and Tilburg, among others.
“However, we cannot do everything at once and will have to make choices together with the central government and the provinces that we give priority to. We also use smart solutions to create extra space more quickly, for example by making agreements with customers to relieve the network if capacity is scarce.”
Long licensing procedures
A lot of time is needed to cope with all the problems in the future. For example, it is difficult to find suitable locations to expand and it takes a long time to obtain permits. There is also only a limited number of employees to prepare and carry out all the work.
Due to the provisional stop, applications from large business customers for a new or heavier connection to the electricity grid are placed on the waiting list. They can only be connected if additional grid capacity is added. That will not happen before 2025.
No consequences for private persons
For small consumers such as private individuals, there is no problem for the time being. The construction of (often gasless) new-build homes is also not at risk. These houses simply get a connection and solar panels can still be installed by private individuals.
Large-scale solar or wind projects may encounter limitations. “All applications that have already been received by us can still be included,” says Enexis. There is therefore no room for new large-scale plans for the time being. The agreements that provinces and municipalities have made in the Regional Energy Strategy (RES) can also continue. That wind and solar energy has already been planned.
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