Skepticism at Enexis about a CO2-neutral city

Photo credit: Studio040

Peter Lemmens, the branch manager of Enexis Regio Eindhoven, is skeptical about the climate goals that the municipality of Eindhoven has set for itself. Due to the enormous capacity shortage on the power grid, achieving a CO2-neutral city will be highly unlikely, he thinks. “I don’t see it happening.”

“The biggest challenge for the coming decades is in the electricity infrastructure. There is huge growth there. Until 2050, we expect to need a doubling of the current electricity grid. But expanding the grid in the short term is a huge challenge.”

“There are two things that play a role in this,” says Lemmens. “The considerable growth of the region on the one hand and the energy transition on the other. The latter leads to electrification, resulting in the current issue. At the moment we cannot meet the demand”, says Lemmens.

80 percent of the city

“By way of illustration: we now have companies waiting with a joint application of 330 megawatts. That is 80 percent of the entire network capacity of the city of Eindhoven. We will therefore have capacity problems for the next five to ten years, which we refer to as congestion. We will not be able to connect a lot of customers and that will also delay the energy transition.”

Companies will not always be able to connect, but the rest of the city will also feel the consequences, Lemmens sees. “We can connect apartments, but not the facilities that are needed in new neighbourhoods and districts. That is a terrible message.”


“It will be a huge issue. We therefore focus on two things. The energy transition is 80 percent a question of implementation. Transport distribution stations must be built, but cable work must also be installed. We will have to lay around 5,000 kilometers of cables. That’s the distance from here to New York. One in three streets must be opened for that electrification,” says the branch manager.

In addition, Enexis, together with local authorities and the business community, must look for other solutions. “20 percent is coming up with innovative solutions. See how we can speed up construction. We then look for solutions with the competent alderpersons and Brainport Development.”

‘Not going to happen’

Nevertheless, the problems seem to throw a spanner in the works for Eindhoven and Helmond. The cities want to be climate neutral by 2030. “We expect that we will not have converted the power grid for the next five to ten years. So those climate ambitions are actually even more ambitious than they already seemed. It will be very difficult to move towards a CO2-neutral society. From the point of view of the electricity grid, I don’t see it happening”, concludes Lemmens.


Source: Studio040

For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez

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