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Collaboration and innovative solutions are necessary for the efficient use of the electricity grid

28 Jul 2022

In the first half of this year, electricity consumption in the Netherlands increased more than expected and sooner than anticipated. As a consequence of the war in Ukraine and rising energy prices, the transition to a more sustainable energy supply has gained further momentum. Over the past months, we received more than 800 megawatts in new requests in the Dutch provinces Noord Brabant and Limburg. This is comparable to four times the total capacity of the electricity grid in the city 's Hertogenbosch. Due to the high demand TenneT's high-voltage grid is full in these provinces. Enexis Netbeheer's grids are also reaching their maximum capacity in more and more areas. Therefore, we are doing everything in our power to expand our grids as fast as possible, but we realise that a lot more is necessary. As the grid operator Enexis Holding states in its interim report 2022: collaboration and innovative solutions are necessary in the coming years to make efficient use of the existing grid. 

Enexis continues to invest in increasing the capacity of its grid and is expanding the grid by building at least 1 gigawatt additional grid capacity annually to facilitate new developments, such as renewable energy generation, electrification and electric mobility. This means that we will expand the capacity of our electricity grid every year by approximately 10 percent. Enexis spent € 462 million on the electricity grid in the first half of 2022. No less than 879 megawatt (MW) renewable onshore energy was connected in this period, with which around 240.000 households can be supplied with electricity. 


The temporary stop for (new) high-volume customers in the provinces Noord-Brabant and Limburg has a huge impact on Enexis Netbeheer's high-volume customers in these provinces. A connection with transmission capacity is temporarily not available for new companies with a large electricity demand. This is also the case for existing high-volume customers who want to expand or have set up new initiatives to feed renewable electricity back into the grid.

Besides continuing to expand the electricity grid, Enexis Netbeheer is also looking into innovative solutions together with customers to make as efficient use as possible of the existing grid. For instance, the grid operator is looking into congestion management and the use of time-slot contracts with which it is possible to make optimal use of the available capacity of the electricity grid in off-peak moments. In addition, Enexis Netbeheer is continuing to promote system efficient solutions, such as cable pooling. Cable pooling is combining several installations, for example a solar farm and wind turbines, on one connection. Everything is aimed at ensuring that the energy supply remains safe and reliable, that customers are connected timely, and that the energy system of the future is being realised.

In order to be able to continue to finance grid expansions in the long term, it is important that we maintain a strong equity position. Consequently, we are pleased that the Minister of Climate and Energy and Minister of Finance have announced that the Dutch State plans to contribute capital and participate in grid operators. The terms and conditions still have to be discussed. 

The strategy that we adopted in April helps Enexis to focus on the realisation of the energy transition and connect as many customers as possible. In line with this strategy, we signed a sales agreement for our subsidiary Fudura in the beginning of May. Before the sale to DIF Capital Partners and PGGM can actually take place, the European Commission has to grant its approval. The European Commission's decision is expected at the beginning of August. 


Jeroen Sanders, CTO and member of the Executive Board of Enexis Groep: "Collaboration is key in the challenges that we are facing. Our ambitions are high, whereas the capacity of the electricity grid, materials, and technical personnel are scarce. The energy transition is a major societal challenge which we have to find a solution for together. This requires extensive collaboration between grid operators, local governments, the Dutch State, and our customers. Only then will we be able to accelerate and create sufficient possibilities in times of scarcity. We have to work together to accomplish this."