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12 October 2020

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The growing pains of the grid

This article is the first part of the series “Grid heroes – pioneering in solutions against grid congestion”

The Dutch energy grid is under pressure. Even more so in the Brainport Eindhoven region. In this innovative high-tech region, businesses are growing and becoming more sustainable. More and more companies and organizations are electrifying their production processes, generating their own renewable energy and switching to cleans ways of transportation. The grid, initially designed for a different era, is struggling to meet the increasing demand driven by the region's growth and transition towards sustainability.

Impact on Growth and Innovation

This grid congestion has tangible consequences for the regional business landscape. New companies have been placed on the waiting list for a new grid connection. The same goes for companies who want to extend their grid connection. So, this situation not only impacts established businesses but also hinders new ones from starting their operations.

Grid congestion also has a far-reaching impact on the innovation and technological development prospects in the area. The potential to nurture new technologies and attract fresh investments can be put on hold when the grid's capacity falls short.

Optimizing Grid Utilization

Efficient grid utilization is a crucial component of resolving congestion issues. This requires a new way of thinking. With a primary focus on energy efficiency, by saving energy, companies need less from the grid. Second, companies should use electricity smarter. By spreading the demand for electricity more throughout the day, peak loads can be avoided. In the third place, smart solutions can be implemented for the surplus of generated, renewable energy; like energy storage or curtailment.

By collaborating with businesses, organizations and government at for example business parks, solutions can be taken up collectively. In so-called local energy hubs, sustainable generation, storage and mutual exchange of energy flows take place.  

Grid heroes – pioneering in solutions against grid congestion

Within this region various startups, companies, government and park management organizations are collaborating on products and projects to make smarter use of the existing grid, such as alternatives for generating solar and wind energy, for storing energy locally and managing energy more efficiently. In combination with existing technologies and infrastructure this can make a significant difference for the situation.

Sustaining the Region's Success

As the Brainport Eindhoven region continues its transformation into a sustainable hub, addressing network congestion is of paramount importance. By finding ways to optimize energy consumption collectively, companies in Brainport Eindhoven are not only sustaining their growth but also contributing to the region's long-term success. This collaborative approach ensures that network congestion does not stand in the way of continued innovation, economic development, and a sustainable future.

During the next few weeks, you can read inspiring stories about innovations and initiatives that address grid congestion in our series “Grid heroes – pioneering in solutions against grid congestion”.

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