Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “grids”

Dutch Grid Running into Renewable Electricity Overload

Updated my curve from 2016. ZonPV follows this curve perfectly. Next year will be exciting: can the electricity system still handle all the solar energy on peak days in 2022? I do suspect that it won’t on weekends and on windy working days. What do you think?

More indication that storage is currently more pressing than new capacity. Perhaps time for the Dutch government to start a campaign for domestic batteries.

[] – Martien Visser

The Netherlands Sets Another Crucial Decarbonization Step


The Dutch grid operators have announced a rigorous renewal and reinforcement of the national grid to the tune of 40 billion euro until 2030, to deal with larger amounts of (renewable) electricity.

[] – Netbeheerders presenteren definitieve investeringsplannen: elektriciteitsnet wordt rigoureus verzwaard

Netherlands to Double Capacity Electricity Grid in a Decade


…to accommodate for the energy transition.

The Dutch minister of Economic Affairs Wiebes wrote this in a letter to parliament on June 8, 2020:


Zoals eerder aangekondigd heb ik een aantal maatregelen op korte en lange termijn genomen. Met deze maatregelen kan ik verlichting bieden, maar zullen het gebrek aan capaciteit niet structureel kunnen verhelpen. Netuitbreiding en – verzwaring blijft vooralsnog nodig als structurele oplossing. Netbeheerders investeren dan ook fors om de transportcapaciteit uit te breiden.

De transportcapaciteit die we in afgelopen tientallen jaren hebben opgebouwd zal in de komende 10 jaar worden verdubbeld. De regionale netbeheerders verwachten circa 30 miljard euro te gaan investeren tot en met 2030 en TenneT 12 miljard euro op dezelfde termijn. Deze uitbreidingen vergen enkele jaren aan realisatietijd, met name als gevolg van procedures met betrekking tot ruimtelijke inpassing en bijbehorende vergunningsprocedures.

[] – Kamerbrief vervolg toezeggingen gebrek transportcapaciteit elektriciteit
[] – Onshore projects Netherlands
[] – Detailed grid map Netherlands

[source] The Netherlands and Germany can exchange 5 GW of electricity. For the moment it is mostly German wind energy, but that doesn’t need to be the case for all eternity, with the realization of one Dutch offshore wind project after another.

Breakthrough Grid Expansion in Germany

Recently there were headlines about the stagnation of the renewable energy transition in Germany, mainly due to the resistance of the population, not against the transition itself, but against too visible consequences for the local environment (“not in my backyard”). However, a breakthrough seems to have been achieved and new major grid lines, connecting the offshore wind parks in the north with the southern German states. The emphasis will be on underground power lines.

[] – Stromnetz-Ausbau: Wirtschaftsminister Altmaier erzielt Einigung
[] – Bundeswirtschaftsminister und Länder einigen sich bei Ausbau von Stromnetzen
[] – Power line expansion deal
[deepresource] – Energy Transition in Germany Stagnating

China Proposes GEI Global Electricity Grid

[] – China Rolls Out Proposal for Worldwide Grid
[] – Does the path to a low-carbon future run through a global grid?

Live Energy Production Data

[] – UK

German Grid Still Reliable Despite Growing Renewable Energy

Despite a growing share of renewable energy in Germany, the grid remains as stable as ever: the average German has on average to endure a 11.5 minute/year blackout. Although grid stability will become an increasing challenge, for the moment everything is still fine.

[] – Duitse stroomnet ondanks pieken windenergie superbetrouwbaar

“Don’t Worry About Intermittency Under 30-40% Renewable Energy Share”

Paul Graham, Chief economist, CSIRO energy, studied the Australian electricity grid

The Australian government’s chief scientific body says there is no apparent technical impediment to reaching 100 per cent renewables for the national electricity grid, and levels of up to 30 per cent renewable energy should be considered as just “trivial” in current energy systems… Graham said the challenges could start to emerge when the penetration of wind and solar move above 40 per cent –as it has in South Australia, which explains why it is focusing on storage and is finally getting traction on its call for changes to energy market rules.

“When we do modelling where we increase the renewable penetration above around 40 per cent of the energy delivered (where South Australia is now) that starts to force out some of that existing dispatchable generation, and then we find that you need to add other technologies to support renewables,’ Graham said.

[] – CSIRO says Australia can get to 100 per cent renewable energy
[] – Paul Graham, CSIRO
[] – CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)
[] – Paul Graham, Australians can have zero-emission electricity, without blowing the bill
[] – Baseload power is a myth: even intermittent renewables will work

Future Electric Grids



[Leonardo Energy Channel]

Ocean Grids Around Europe

Youtube text: Several European countries have policies to encourage the development of renewable energy sources. This is identified in, for example, the European green paper Energy strategy for a sustainable, competitive and secure energy supply (March 2006).

In the transition towards a European sustainable energy system for the future and to reduce the dependency of imported primary energy sources such as oil and gas, the development of offshore wind power is an essential element. EWEA assumes that almost 120,000 MW offshore wind power will be realised in the next two decades, amounting to 10% of the installed generating capacity. Apart from offshore wind energy, other offshore renewable energy sources such as wave energy, tidal energy and some experimental technologies of offshore energy have been considered.

Recent blackouts within Europe have shown that there is a need for increased European co-ordination regarding the transmission of electricity including aspects related to interconnections. In the EU technology platform Smart Grids, attention is paid to the networks of the future to ensure that they can accommodate and facilitate large amounts of renewable energy, both distributed and concentrated.

Following the European Smart Grids line of thinking, Airtricity has proposed a European offshore super grid (HVDC based on Voltage Source Converter technology), combining the grid integration of offshore wind farms with an interconnection grid between countries at sea. One could extend the role of this grid and connect all “ocean power” to it. The supergrid could then be part of the European backbone to connect and transmit bulk renewable power from remote generation sites, even as far as North Africa (Desertec).

The goal of this webinar is to discuss “Ocean Grids”, grids at sea, at a conceptual level. The idea behind Ocean Grids is to provide an offshore backbone for the mainland transmission networks on one hand, and connection points for offshore wind power stations on the other hand. This will include offshore wind energy and other potential energy sources at sea.

Read more…

Germany Plans €60bn Energy Investment

A raft of new offshore wind farms and hydroelectric power plants are in the offing, after German energy companies and investors yesterday confirmed they are preparing to plough up to €60bn into overhauling the country’s power infrastructure, following the government’s pledge to phase out nuclear reactors… plans are underway to build or modernise 84 power stations with a combined capacity of 42GW… Confirmation that 23 offshore wind projects and 10 hydro pumped storage projects are being planned… the report also reveals that energy firms are planning 29 gas-fired power plants and a further 17 coal-fired facilities.


Telekom moves into energy market

Resource depletion might be bad news for consumers, but that does not mean that there aren’t opportunities for companies in the energy market. On the contrary. Deutsche Telekom was already able to deliver kilobytes to your mobile phone, now it plans to deliver kilojoules to your doorstep as well. Telekom suffers from declining income from its phone devision so it is now looking for different fields to operate in. Read more…

Smart Grids

So what’s a smart grid anyway? Compare it to the internet where one can hook up all sorts of devices that can communicate with each other and exchange data. Replace ‘data’ with ‘electrons’ and we have the idea of a smart grid. Read more…


Something is happening in Europe in response to the immanent energy crisis: Desertec. A project aiming at generating electricity by thermal solar power in the Sahara desert.
Planned capacity: 2 Gigawatt.
Startdate construction: 2014
Startdate production: 2016
Read more…

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