Enexis Groep is doing everything in its power to facilitate the energy transition optimally. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the world is changing faster than our electricity grids can handle. Consequently, expansion of the capacity of our electricity grids has top priority. A coordinating role on the part of the government is essential in the energy transition. In the first half of 2021, Enexis Groep completed a work package of in total € 440 million; a € 37 million increase compared to the first half of 2020.
The demand for electricity continues to rise and more and more customers want to be able to feed the renewable energy that they generate back into the grid. Again in the first half of 2021, we connected more customers than in the same period last year and we invested € 240 million in our electricity grids. No less than 467 MW in onshore renewable energy generation capacity was realised in our service area in the same period. With this additional capacity, electricity can be supplied to over 140,000 households. The total installed renewable energy generation capacity in our service area increased to nearly 7,000 MW.
The average electricity outage time in the Enexis Netbeheer regions amounted to 9.9 minutes in the first half of 2021. We have one of the most reliable and safe energy grids in the world. We also aim to ensure a high degree of reliability during the transition to a new sustainable energy system. For Enexis, this means that we will remain open for business while modernising our electricity grids. Besides reliability, the safety of our employees and the environment are the most important preconditions governing our work. Working safely is always our number one priority. This is essential now that we are facing one of the greatest infrastructural challenges in history, which also has to be realised at an ambitious pace.
Enexis Groep has committed to the Dutch climate goals and we are confident that, together, we will at least be able to achieve the agreed target of 35 terawatt hours (TWh) renewable electricity generation for 2030. However, it is important now that all parties start making their plans more concrete and start drafting execution programmes for the modification, spatial planning and realisation of infrastructure.
In the Regional Energy Strategy (RES) 1.0 decision-making process, the 30 RES regions formulated ambitions that, in total, considerably exceed the agreed climate goal of 35 TWh. This climate goal must be realised in 2030 whereas accommodating onshore renewable energy generation is already a considerable challenge for the energy grid. Evert den Boer, CEO Enexis Groep: “Nearly half of the total required RES target falls within Enexis’s service area. In combination with increasing the sustainability of the industry and installing charging infrastructure for electric transport, this will result in a huge amount of work for us in the coming nine years. In the whole sector, we are facing a shortage of technical personnel and long lead times for permits and public consultation procedures. As a result, a mismatch threatens to occur between the regional ambitions and the speed with which we can carry out the necessary work. We are confident that this is possible; however, in that case, choices will have to be made on the regional, provincial and RES level in terms of approach or time. What are we going to install first, what are we going to install later and what are we not going to install? With more coordination from the government and clear priorities, the conditions will we created to make smart choices for the energy system of the future.”
On the road towards the energy system of the future, priorities have to be set in the realisation and well-balanced choices have to be made. Enexis Groep stimulates system efficiency in order to make use of the capacity of the existing energy grid and avoid additional and unnecessary investments. This is possible, for example, by positioning large-scale renewable energy generators near high-volume consumers of electricity. We are discussing this matter with provinces and municipalities. We are transparent about local opportunities and challenges and clarify which choices have to be made to carry out the energy transition in a feasible and affordable manner. We successfully issued a green bond of € 500 million again in April 2021. Nevertheless, we remain concerned that the grid operators have to pre-finance the increasingly high investments. There is too large a delay in the manner in which the costs are charged to customers through the tariffs. The expenditure for work on our grids remains high; this year one billion euros. The smart choices that we make now in order to make more efficient use of the grid will contribute to the affordability for society later.
For more information, we refer to the full interim report 2021.