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The process of making industry in the Northern Netherlands more sustainable through electrification will soon create major bottlenecks. The capacity of the energy infrastructure is too meagre and must therefore be increased quickly. This is the opinion of the Industry Council North Netherlands in response to the recently published Cluster Energy Strategy (CES).
Editorial office / Groningen

The CES shows how much electricity will be needed in the Northern Netherlands in the coming years. It becomes clear that shortages are already imminent in the short term. In 2025, for instance, more than 4 times the amount of electricity will be used than in 2020. In 2030, more than 16 times as much electricity will be needed and in 2050, 40 times as much.

Shortages expected

Because of the rapid growth, the existing electricity grid in the Delfzijl cluster will no longer be able to meet the increasing demand for electricity before 2025. Grid manager TenneT indicates that there is still some 300 MW in the existing situation, while total demand in 2025 will be around 665 MW. This problem will increase by 2030 and there will also be a shortage of power plants outside the various clusters and in the Emmen cluster. Without reinforcement of the electricity grid, the production of sufficient green hydrogen will also be at risk.

All this will have far-reaching consequences for the feasibility of climate targets. Other sustainability options, such as the additional use of biomass or other green fuels, are limited by the nitrogen problem. The industry in the Northern Netherlands is therefore making a strong appeal to the state and the network companies. They must ensure that major investments in sufficient electricity generation (mainly offshore wind) and expansion of the infrastructure are set in motion as soon as possible. According to the grid managers, the lead time for such investments is normally 7 to 15 years. This will take too long.

The CES can be downloaded from the website of Groningen Seaports.

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