Netherlands could face power shortages from 2030 as demand rises


Dutch households could face blackouts and spikes in energy prices after 2030 because the network is struggling to meet rising demand.

Network operator Tennet warned that the closure of three coal-fired power stations in 2030 was likely to lead to shortages across the network, mostly on winter evenings when demand is highest.

Spokesman Patrick van Rijt said: “On average we’ll have 14 hours a year when there is not enough power to meet demand across the whole country.”

Wind farms and solar parks are replacing the coal-fired power stations, but the amount of power they can generate is dependent on weather conditions.

Van Rijt said the most likely effect was likely to be a shortage of power for high-using industries, who could also be hit by price spikes if they have to compete for supplies.

“If a couple of companies decide to suspend production temporarily it will restore the balance,” he said. But he warned that the disruption could make the Netherlands less attractive for energy companies.

Van Rijt called on the government and energy companies to look at possible solutions, such as connecting the Netherlands to countries such as Norway.

Energy companies could also follow the example of Greenchoice, which recently “switched” its day and night tariffs to encourage consumers to spread their energy use more evenly.

Gas-fired stations could be adapted to run on other fuels such as hydrogen, Van Rijt added. “There is still time to convert old gas-fired power stations within 10 years or build new ones,” he said. “But we shouldn’t leave it a few more years.”

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