Sustainability is accelerating in all sectors
Unabated growth in the number of customers generating renewable energy
Each year, we connect more charging points, wind turbines and solar farms to the power grid. In addition, green gas producers are also increasingly turning to us for connections so that they can feed their sustainable gas into the natural gas network. In 2022, we again saw an increase in the number of registered connections with an active feed-in installation in our service area, from 618,000 to approximately 773,000 (up 25%). That represents 13% of our total connections. The Netherlands now has the highest installed PV capacity per head of population.
Sustainable developments in our service area
Solar energy installed capacity
4,734 MW in 2021
Wind energy installed capacity
1,756 MW in 2021
Quantity of green gas fed in
59.2 million m3 in 2021
Number of public charging points
10,595 in 2021
High energy prices are rapidly boosting demand for sustainable solutions
The high energy prices spurred many of our customers to invest in insulation and in making their homes more sustainable last year. Insulation is a crucial factor in lowering energy consumption, since most of the energy consumed in the built environment is used to heat homes and other premises in the winter. Where heating using electric heat pumps is the best solution, sufficient insulation helps to reduce the peak in energy consumption. Houses and offices can then be disconnected from the natural gas network.
As winter approached, the high energy prices led to consumers using electric heaters more. If everyone used electric heaters, they could overload the power grid and lead to more outages. However, a scenario analysis revealed that there is little risk of many more outages on the low-voltage grid this winter due to the use of electric heaters.
High and volatile energy prices lead to behavioural change
The high energy prices and the growing share of sustainably generated energy are leading to major fluctuations in the price of electricity during the day. These large price differences are accelerating the use of flexibility and thus also the demand for new contract types. For example, the number of energy storage projects increased rapidly to allow more flexible balancing of energy generation and consumption.
We saw a rapid increase in the number of consumers with a dynamic energy contract (from 10,000 to 250,000) in the second half of 2022. Consumers with these contracts pay an energy price that varies per hour. The hourly prices in these contracts are agreed with the suppliers the day before. These contracts have proven to be cheaper on average than variable contracts during the past few months. They are particularly beneficial for customers with flexible loads, such as electric boilers, electric cars or home batteries. 1.4% of our low-volume consumers had a dynamic price contract at the end of 2022. This may be the start of a trend that could potentially have a major effect on our network load.
Our customers are requesting solutions for balancing supply and demand locally
Our customers are increasingly asking us for solutions that make it possible to exchange energy locally in response to the available local network capacity. These customers are open to the idea of organising as groups in ‘energy hubs’ or energy communities. By coordinating generation and demand locally, less network capacity is required and industrial estates can expand or become more sustainable. It may be possible to combine this local exchange with a future sustainable energy system, in which generation and consumption are located close together and where the need for energy transmission can be greatly reduced by coordinating supply and demand locally with flexibility on both sides. Alliander is developing innovative ways of facilitating this approach. We aim to establish partnerships in which other parties deploy solutions and we add our own solutions, such as ENTRNCE, a local market platform.
Electrification in the area of mobility
The number of charging points for electric vehicles will grow in the coming years. This applies to all variants: home charging, public and semi-public charging, rapid charging and charging at work. We connected 2,255 public charging points in 2022 (2021: 2,136). In the period up to and including 2025, we expect demand for charging points in Liander's service area to increase to about 35,000 charging points.