The electrification of society and the European closure of gas, coal, and nuclear power plants, combined with uncertainty about the development of sufficient flexibility, could lead to an exceedance of the security of supply standard in the Netherlands for the first time in 2030. This is evident from the report 'Monitoring Security of Supply 2022'
, an analysis that TenneT carries out annually on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate.
In the report 'Monitoring Security of Supply 2022', TenneT analyzes, based on dozens of scenarios, whether there is sufficient production capacity in the Netherlands to meet domestic electricity demand in the short, medium, and long term. It remains important to actively pursue policies to ensure that the market realizes sufficient flexibility on both the demand and supply side in time to continue guaranteeing security of supply in the long term.
Until 2025, there is sufficient domestic production capacity in the Netherlands to meet the national electricity demand. Due to TenneT's electricity connections with other countries (interconnection), there is no expectation of exceeding the standard (maximum 4 hours per year of partial shortage of electricity supply relative to demand) in extreme weather and outage scenarios until 2025. From 2030, security of supply decreases compared to previous analyses of Monitoring Security of Supply. In the base scenario, the security of supply standard (4 hours) is exceeded for the first time by 0.5 hours to a level of 4.5 hours. Due to the decreasing possibility of support from surrounding countries, partly due to the closure of gas, coal, and nuclear power plants, the importance of sufficient available flexibility on the demand and/or supply side within the Netherlands increases. Also, expanding the capacity of power connections with the United Kingdom and Scandinavia can contribute to higher security of supply.
Security of supply less self-evident
With an availability of 99.99963%, the reliability of the high-voltage grids in the Netherlands was again very high last year, but the energy system and the electricity market are in full motion. Maarten Abbenhuis, COO of TenneT: “Security of supply currently rightly has full political and social attention. Since the Russian attack on Ukraine and the subsequent energy crisis, our dependence on other countries for energy supply is clearly on the surface and security of energy supply is less self-evident than before. Achieving the climate goals, where we are not or much less dependent on fossil fuels, is only realistic with strong European cooperation. This brings up new challenges that will require more and more attention in the coming years.”
Until 2025, security of supply in the Netherlands is within the standard. There is sufficient production capacity in the Netherlands during this period to cover the national electricity demand. In the medium to long term (2025-2030), uncertainties increase. In the Netherlands and most countries in Europe, there will be increasing electrification of society. A further decline in the production capacity of gas, coal, and nuclear power plants and an increase in the share of variable renewable generation make the electricity system increasingly weather-dependent.
Possible shortages due to uncertainties in flexibility
From 2030, production shortages may arise, which may not fully meet the desired electricity demand in the Netherlands at all hours of the year. This is closely related to the assumption of the available amount of flexibility, for example from battery capacity. Current assumptions are based, among other things, on applications from market parties for connecting battery capacity. Actual realization is still uncertain. How often and how large future shortages will be is influenced by the development of international power connections, demand response, investments in new power plants or the closure of existing power plants both in the Netherlands and abroad.
The risks surrounding these developments have increased compared to earlier analyses, particularly due to anticipated developments abroad, which have been more concretely mapped out by European high-voltage grid operators.
Invest in flexibility and interconnection
Abbenhuis: “To secure future security of supply, policy should primarily focus on the flexibilization of demand, development of storage, and stimulation of controllable generation capacity. Which sources of flexibility will be used to support security of supply towards 2030 is open for discussion. At the same time, for example, expanding interconnection capacity with the United Kingdom or Scandinavia could make a significant contribution to security of supply in the years following 2030.”
In conclusion, the report highlights the increasing importance of flexibility and interconnections for maintaining security of electricity supply in the Netherlands. As the country and its neighbors transition towards more renewable energy sources and close traditional power plants, it becomes crucial to address potential shortages and uncertainties. This will require not only strong European cooperation but also proactive policies aimed at promoting demand-side flexibility, energy storage, and controllable generation capacity, along with expanding interconnections with other countries.