By Jorlan Peeters | Februari 2022


Power grids are becoming congested: ‘inspansion’ is the (fastest) solution

"The power grid is becoming increasingly congested in more and more places. At various locations in the Netherlands, there is little or no grid capacity left for connecting new projects."

 

Challenge

"For some time, grid managers have been unable to meet all requests for new connections. According to Alliander, the current grid needs to be at least doubled in order to meet the rapidly growing demand for electricity."

"Expanding the grid is not a short-term solution, given the enormous impact on infrastructure and associated costs. In the short term, however, 'infiltration' can offer a solution. In other words: getting much more out of existing systems in a safe, smart and sustainable way."

"The Netherlands is in danger of missing out on its sustainability targets, established companies are restricted in their expansion and growth, and the business climate for foreign companies is deteriorating. For example, an industrial estate in Bladel, in the south of the  country, recently missed out on the arrival of a large American company – and 600 jobs - because of poor grid connection."

"According to the Paris Climate Agreement, more than two-thirds of all electricity must come from renewable sources by 2030. In order to achieve sustainability targets for 2030, the Netherlands is moving away from gas. The use of fossil fuels is also increasingly being replaced by electricity, for example for traffic or heating - so-called 'electrification'. However, connecting renewable energy sources is becoming increasingly difficult, according to the power companies Liander, Enexis and Stedin. According to research by Pointer, three thousand sustainable projects are currently waiting to be connected to the grid. This situation will not improve in the short term."

Transiënten

"Companies are asking for increasingly large connections, for example to make their buildings or properties more sustainable. In their drive to be more sustainable, companies often need a larger connection value to accommodate rising electricity consumption. But because the grid is increasingly full in many places, expansion often proves impossible. According to Alliander, the current grid needs to at least double in size in order to meet the rapidly growing demand for electricity. Grid managers have announced that some 60,000 to 80,000 km of cable will be laid by 2050 – we haven’t seen this type of infrastructure project in decades."

"This is a major environmental, logistical and inconvenience for citizens and businesses. In addition, there’s a huge shortage of electrical engineers... Who will do all the necessary work?"

'Inspansion’, not expansion

Expanding the existing power grid is not a short-term option, given the enormous impact on the infrastructure and the associated costs. In the short term, however, 'infiltration' can offer a solution. In other words: getting much more out of existing systems in a safe, smart and sustainable way.

Through ‘inspansion’, capacity can be created behind the transformer(s) in electrical installations. The optimization of Power Quality - the quality of voltage and current - plays an important role in this. By removing power quality phenomena such as harmonic pollution, inductive and capacitive reactive power and through load balancing, the existing installation capacity can be used much more efficiently.

Optimizing power quality is often accompanied by a reduction in energy losses.    Meanwhile, work can be done on local power storage, optimization of consumption and distribution, and smart techniques that ensure that the country achieves its climate objectives and remains attractive to businesses without introducing new problems.

The initiative for ‘inspansion’ lies primarily with the power users. It is necessary that users such as (production) companies, care institutions and data centers take the necessary steps themselves. This starts with gaining insight into the electrical installation and analyzing the possibilities for improvement.

Knowledge and solutions

Our highly trained, qualified and enthusiastic team of technicians help our clients to improve energy efficiency and optimize electrical energy quality. We do this by means of measurements, analyses, knowledge, services and technologically innovative solutions. In this way, we help our customers navigate the energy transition, get much more out of existing installations, achieve their own sustainability goals and make a contribution to meeting national targets.