Power crisis will last for years: not all connection problems solved until 2050

Published: October 20 at 12:50

The scarcity on the power grid is going to last for years. Only from 2027 will there be room again on the power grid in Gelderland for large companies that want to expand or build new premises. Until 2050, work will be needed to prevent the lights from being turned on at certain times.

So say regional manager Minke Breijer of Liander and grid strategist Jan de Jong of Tennet. The high demand for electricity from businesses and homes plus the impetuous growth of renewable energy is causing huge tightness on the power grid, both grid managers say.

Meanwhile, residential neighborhoods like the one in Overbetuwe are not being built because there is no room on the power grid. Individuals who do get connected increasingly find that solar panels are turned off because the grid is too full.

That net needs to be greatly expanded. "The honest answer is that - with today's knowledge - we started that too late," Breijer said.

Nowhere more room for wind turbine on grid

At present, there is virtually nowhere in Gelderland left on the power grid for new wind farms or large-scale initiatives with solar roofs. The problems with the purchase of electricity by companies are somewhat less significant, but already problematic in various parts of Gelderland. Dozens of companies are told that they cannot purchase additional power when they ask for it.

What are the implications of the power crisis?

- Solar panels on residential rooftops are turned off at times because the power grid cannot handle all the extra power.

- New housing developments, swimming pools and businesses cannot be built or are delayed.

- Individuals who need more power for a heat pump or want to install solar panels often have to wait a long time to do so.

That the congested power grid is causing problems in Gelderland in particular is not surprising. ,,We see large solar and wind farms being built mainly on the edges of the Netherlands," Breijer says. ,,But in those places, more rural areas, is not the biggest demand. So we have to transport all that generated power from Gelderland to places where there is the greatest demand. The power grid is not set up for that."

New demand for power not keeping up

Network operators are working to reinforce electricity grids throughout the province over the next few years. Hundreds of kilometers of cable will be put extra in the ground. This is necessary to prevent large-scale electricity outages. ,,It hardly ever happens in the Netherlands that there is an outage, for example. But the chances of this will increase if we start asking for more and more of the cables that are there now," says De Jong.

The expansion of the power grid is not going fast enough because the demand for power just keeps rising, says Liander's Breijer. ,,We are already seeing, for example, that the extensions that will soon be completed in Doetinchem are not enough for the area. We are already looking for places to add another power station. These are problems we are encountering all over the country."

Network operators Liander and Tennet are therefore calling on governments to enable simple procedures for the construction of distribution stations, for example. Now there is often protest from the neighborhood when such a structure is built. This means that construction can be delayed by up to five years. More will be known today about the national approach against power shortages.

Source: The Gelderlander