Coordination and collaboration

The energy network is undergoing huge alterations. We are having to deal with completely new ways of generating energy and forms of demand for energy, in new places in the landscape and in the energy system, with many new players entering the field. We also have to take account of some very complex issues. Which forms of energy best match which sustainability tasks? How do we safeguard individual freedom of choice while still finding solutions that are good for society as a whole? How do we keep everything affordable for individuals and society? How do we slot in sustainable energy to make optimum use of the space in the Netherlands optimally while developing an accessible, affordable and sustainable energy system? How do we create new local partnerships in which supply and demand for energy is locally aligned? The extent and complexity of these issues require coordination of the choices that are made and intensive collaboration to implement new concepts.

The Dutch government’s National Energy System Plan (NPE) is an important step towards a coordinated approach to the energy system. Such a programme is needed not only nationally but also regionally and locally. Alliander believes it is our social duty to be actively involved in the design of the energy system. As a public partner and key player in the energy system with vast knowledge of that system, Alliander is well positioned to collaborate with our stakeholders and find the optimum arrangement in good time. This is important because energy infrastructure places major demands on the available space, the costs are borne by everyone and we have to deal with scarcity of materials and technical staff. It means that choices have to be made regarding the future energy system and the speed of its implementation. Last year, we laid the foundations for regional programming in conjunction with provincial authorities and municipalities. This is intended to lead to regional energy vision documents in our service areas in 2023. In drawing them up, we join public authorities and the business community in looking at the regional development of mobility, industry and the built environment, the development of the collective energy demand, the optimum mix of energy carriers to meet this demand, the required investments in infrastructure, availability of space and the timelines within which all this can be achieved. In this way, we and our stakeholders are trying to make the best choices for society and the energy system. At the same time, we seek to structure the approach to the transition, because not everything can be done at once. We are doing this for instance by providing the optimum wind-solar power ratio or the clustering of large-scale supply and demand for energy as input for the Regional Energy Strategies (RES). In the Transition Vision Statements, we propose what we have reasoned are the most appropriate heat alternatives per area in view of the future energy system. We are also working closely with municipalities and the business community to launch new solutions and put them into practice. Examples include bringing parties in a certain area together to jointly develop an approach to align supply and demand for energy locally.

Firm coordination, local flexibility

In conjunction with the Netherlands School of Public Administration (NSOB), in 2022 Alliander published the article ‘De Stroom Zoeken; de energietransitie bezien vanuit ecosyteem perspectief’, which sets out our view that coordination and collaboration must be accompanied by steering aimed at setting a new course.