Grid regulation and infrastructure
Lack of infrastructure and infrastructure development
The issue of a lack in grid capacity has been growing over the last years as a result of an exponential growth in RES plants. To this end, solar parks are connected to the grid at 70 % of their capacity. Further, wind and solar are aimed to be connected to the grid through the same connection, which also would mean reducing the possibility of overcapacity, as these tend not to peak concurrently. Nonetheless, the issue continues to exist.
The development of wind and solar throughout the last years has surpassed expectations and surprised grid operators in the Netherlands. To this end, the required grid development was not keeping pace with the development of installations and capacities. Grid development is slowed down by lengthy and complicated procedures as well as by growing resistance from the general public. In some parts of the Netherlands, most notably in Southeast Groningen, the realisation of a number of solar parks is planned. The grid's capacity, however, is currently not sufficient to connect all these solar parks to the grid. In order to receive subsidy through the SDE++ scheme, when applying those who will produce electricity had to submit a transmission capacity indication, which would be used to indicate whether there is sufficient transmission capacity in the specific area and must be prepared by the grid operator. However, the sector believes that it should be the other way around, project applications should justify the need for grid expansion.
As expanding the grid takes longer than developing a solar park (mostly due to administrative issues), the grid operators expect difficulties. In the new Climate Agreement, the Regional Energy Strategies include stronger cooperation on the local level between grid operators and project developers. This has to allow grid expansion procedures moving parallel with project development. However, the grid availability and development remains a central bottleneck for the development of renewable projects, particularly onshore wind and solar and will be an even bigger issue in light of the development of the offshore potential in the Netherlands. Considering the Dutch Government's focus on offshore wind in order to reach the 2030 goal, it is likely that offshore wind will be adversely affected by the lack of grid capacity.
In the coalition agreement of the government inaugurated in January 2022 is a goal set out of making the energy network 'future-resistant'. In other words, the new government aims to expand the network capacity.
This online database provides information on barriers and best practices for wind onshore, wind offshore, PV rooftop and PV ground-mounted technologies.
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