The energy network in Brabant needs to be urgently unblocked. Ben Voorhorst is appointed as the special coordinator. He will start immediately and, together with the provinces of Brabant, Limburg, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, he must solve the enormous capacity problems as quickly as possible. This should enable the companies to connect to the power grid in the future.
Minister Jetten of Climate and Energy and the provinces of Brabant and Limburg appointed Ben Voorhorst. He was previously involved in the Climate Agreement in 2019 to achieve climate targets. Until 2021 he was operations director at TenneT.
TenneT and the provinces are urging companies to voluntarily map out how much electricity they consume. Often the reserved amount of power is much higher than the actual consumption. In addition, TenneT is monitoring the applications they have already received but are not yet required.
With all hands on deck
They will complete the study into congestion management at an accelerated pace. This study is to see which companies can temporarily reduce their power consumption against payment. The study was not supposed to be ready until the end of the year, but every effort is now to try and complete it sooner.
Several companies in Brabant and Limburg have also already come forward with plans to store energy in large batteries.
Not yet ready
The new coordinator has an important role. The legislation is not yet ready. The province also wants to get rid of the rule that whoever applies for a connection first, gets it first. A spokesperson says: “In the short term, various measures will create some extra space. We, therefore, want to use this scarce space for the projects with the greatest social value. We will therefore continue to put pressure on the coordinator to see what is possible.”
The provinces also want an urgent procedure to get the new Energy Act through the Senate and House of Representatives as quickly as possible. Minister Jetten thinks that won’t take very long either.
In Brabant and Limburg, new companies cannot get a connection to the electricity grid presently. There is also no room for existing companies that want a heavier connection. The high-voltage grid in both provinces has almost reached its maximum capacity.
In order to increase the capacity, TenneT will invest approximately two billion euros in both provinces over the next ten years. Brabant is building new high-voltage substations in Halsteren, Boxmeer, and Tilburg, among other places. But it will be years before they are ready, even though the need is already great.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.