We are primarily tasked with providing power transmission services, system services and facilitating the energy market. Our core tasks follow from our appointment as grid operator under the Dutch 'Elektriciteitswet' (E-wet) and the German 'Energiewirtschaftsgesetz' (EnWG).
As transmission system operator, TenneT is charged with maintaining and developing the high-voltage grid in the Netherlands. The grid is one of the most reliable in the world. The rapid development of the energy transition and economic growth are generating a growing demand for capacity on the high-voltage grid.
In order to meet the growing demand, the grid will be expanded considerably in the coming years. These expansions take a lot of time, partly because of the long lead times. The execution of the work is also under pressure due to a chronic shortage of technicians. At various points in the grid, obtaining additional grid capacity can take longer than desired. This can apply to both the purchase and the feed-in of electricity.
TenneT is working with customers and other stakeholders on numerous solutions to expand capacity. Together we are working on the future sustainable and reliable energy supply.
Our electricity grid is becoming increasingly overloaded as a result of increasing demand for electricity and major changes in our energy supply. Modifications to the grid take a lot of time and we have a great shortage of technicians.
This means that projects are sometimes delayed or have to be postponed: TenneT sometimes has to make choices. Watch the video to see TenneT's vision of this.
Investments and bottlenecks
What are we investing in and upgrading the grid for?
Starting in 2020, TenneT will publish investment plans for onshore and offshore grids every two years, each with a ten-year horizon. The draft investment plans for 2020-2029 have been adopted and can be viewed via the enclosed link.
Read TenneT's investment plans here (in Dutch only)
Where are the bottlenecks?
Throughout the Netherlands we are seeing a great deal of interest in the demand for additional grid capacity. Especially in rural areas there is a great demand for additional feed-in capacity due to solar parks. In various places, this is leading to demand for capacity exceeding supply. From the second quarter of 2021, TenneT will use an online map to show areas where grid capacity is scarce.
Solutions for transmission scarcity
Dynamic Line Rating
Using the Dynamic Line Rating technique, we measure the throughput and transmission capacity of a number of critical line segments every five minutes in order to determine whether more transmission is possible.Read more on Dynamic Line Rating
Spare capacity from high voltage grid
Every connection in our grid uses ~50% of its capacity. We open up the remaining 'hard shoulder' more often for sustainably generated electricity.Read more on spare capacity
GOPACS is a unique initiative in Europe and arose from active cooperation between the Dutch national grid operator TenneT and regional grid operators.Read more about GOPACS
Flexibility from heat pumps
The smarter use of heat pumps and heat networks can, in theory, yield a lot of flexible electricity demand.Read more about flexibility from heat pumps
With congestion management, we distribute the limited space on the electricity network. We do this at times when the demand for electricity transport is higher than what the electricity grid can handle.Read more about congestion management
Frequently asked questions
There are various reasons why it can take longer to get a connection. There is a great deal of interest in new connections to the grid. The large customer demand means that there may be queues. Not all customers can be connected at the same time. Furthermore, the expansion of networks takes a lot of time, among other things because of the extensive and careful procedures involved.
It is of course very annoying that a new connection takes a long time to be installed. We will gladly continue to discuss the possibilities. In addition, you can always contact the regulator of the energy market, the Netherlands Authority for the Consumer and Market (ACM).
We have noticed that there is a great deal of interest in rural areas in particular in connecting to the grid, especially solar parks. These solar parks collectively supply a lot of electricity back to the grid, more than is used in the region. All this electricity comes together, for example, at a connection station between the regional grid and TenneT's national grid. This may create bottlenecks at some point.
The objectives of the Climate Agreement have been set for 2030: there is still time for the realisation of large-scale grid expansions. It is important, however, that the long-term visions of the (regional) governments are as concrete as possible. These will have a major impact on the decision-making and realisation of the infrastructure needed to achieve the climate objectives.
Investments in the grids are in full swing. TenneT invests approximately € 1 billion per year in maintenance, reinforcement and expansion of the high-voltage grid, and a total of € 7.8 to 8.7 billion over the next ten years.
TenneT continually assesses which projects have the highest priority. Those projects with the greatest impact on security of supply, for example, are given high priority. You can read more about the priorities and considerations in TenneT's investment plan (in Dutch).
We regularly receive requests from customers to build their own connection, or part of their connection. We would like to discuss this actively to see what the possibilities are.
It is clear that all the plans represent a huge challenge for all grid operators, including TenneT. Close cooperation between all parties involved will enable us to limit this as much as possible. TenneT is also scaling up. The search for new technicians is in full swing. Cooperation with contractors is also being intensified so that more work can be done. Efforts are also being made to speed up the work, for instance by standardising more.