January 28, 2023

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The supervisor ignored the warnings of overloading the power grid

The supervisor ignored the warnings of overloading the power grid

NOS | Peter Jan Craigin

  • Rene van Hest

    Nieuwsuur Editor

  • Jan Kleingenhuis

    news hour reporter

  • Rene van Hest

    Nieuwsuur Editor

  • Jan Kleingenhuis

    news hour reporter

The Dutch Consumer and Markets Authority (ACM) has ignored warnings for years that the power grid will become overloaded. The regulator took care mainly of the lowest possible costs, so that the network was not sufficiently expanded.

Researchers and scientists say ACM could, and should, have created more room for investments news hour. ACM contradicts this and maintains that it has acted carefully to prevent unnecessary investments.

Nationwide, there are now more than 6,700 companies and social enterprises on the waiting list to connect to the network. New orders are only honored after months or even years. This slows economic growth and the energy transition: new activity does not take off and existing companies cannot expand or make their operations more sustainable.

This could have been partially prevented if ACM had tested less stringent costs. As early as 2008, the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) that the transition of energy requires large investments in the electricity grid. According to the researchers, the focus is mainly on “efficiency and low costs,” while long-term goals such as sustainability are “likely to receive less attention.”

The power grid is at risk of bursting at the seams. In the video below we show how this can be done:

The power grid threatens to explode at the welds

in 2013 the changes Even then-Secretary of Economic Affairs, Camp, passed the law: In addition to “cost efficiency,” the ACM must also pay attention to security of supply and the importance of sustainability. But according to Hans-Peter Oskam, director of energy transmission at Netbeheer Nederland, “the focus has really remained on the most efficient and cheapest energy transition possible.” “We already said at the time: Watch out, this will go wrong.” The network operators did not dare to risk expanding the network if they were not likely to be compensated for doing so.

All the experts who news hour Speaking, he suggests that renewable energy growth has been faster than even the most optimistic scenario. The long time taken to obtain permits for cables, distribution stations and high voltage towers also means that network operators will continue to be left behind for the time being. But this is only part of the story. They say the regulator’s strict stance has made the lack of network capacity much greater.

“We’ve been warned about it,” says Andrei Yorgos, former director of the sector organization Netbeheer Nederland. He speaks of the “institutional inability” that ACM has continued to emphasize cost efficiency as the consequences of the energy transition become increasingly clear.

In response, the ACM says it can only approve investments if it is certain that connections to the extended network are also available. “The important thing is not to make any investments that later prove unnecessary,” says ACM Chairman Snoop. “To do this, it is first necessary to clarify where connections are needed.”

The ACM’s reasoning is “bullshit,” says Andre Fayeg, professor and director of the energy transition at the research organization TNO. He points out that it has been known for years that the transmission of energy is accompanied by long-range electrification. “So you shouldn’t say: ‘We’re waiting for there to be a demand for connectivity, but we’re planning ahead. Now it’s a fundamental curb on energy transmission, while it should be a critical catalyst.'”

narrow plan

However, ACM will stick to its current modus operandi. “You can only spend a euro once,” says CEO Snoep. “Then do it where it is most important to enhance the transmission of energy. And for that you need to know where it is needed.”

Both the Fij and grid operators argued for tighter central government control over power grid problems. “What we need is a rigorous plan in which hard choices are located where and the investments that are really needed,” says Oskam of Netbeheer Nederland.