With the launch of the Dutch Wind Meets Industry coalition, with the accompanying action agenda, a major step is being taken to accelerate the sustainable energy supply.
Relying on a broad support base, a coalition of Energie-Nederland, NWEA, VEMW and the Top Sector Energy is presenting an action agenda today to link the industrial demand for green energy to the large-scale supply of offshore wind energy. By not waiting for each other, but by actively joining forces, the parties are laying the missing puzzle piece from the Climate Agreement: the connection between the supply and demand sides of sustainable energy.
The Netherlands has an excellent starting position to become an international leader in the production of wind energy, thanks to excellent opportunities for offshore wind energy, strong energy-intensive clusters and the existing energy infrastructure. Sustainable electrification of the (energy-intensive) industry is not possible without offshore wind. The certainties required for successful long-term sustainable operation require smart cooperation in the short term. The strength of the collaboration lies in looking at each other’s business cases, technology and way of working with an open mind. The wind sector, for example, has a great deal of knowledge about the operation and value of flexibility. This knowledge can again help industry with the complex considerations of investing in making production processes more flexible.
Main points of the Action Plan
The parties are now experiencing all kinds of barriers and thresholds, making it more difficult to start making the industry sustainable. A chicken-egg discussion has arisen that hinders further cross-fertilization. The coalition focuses on removing these obstacles. To this end, the action plan identifies the important issues, formulates concrete actions and preconditions, including those in the field of government or network operators. The main points identified by the coalition in its action plan are:
- The timely availability of electricity infrastructure. The coalition makes joint plans for supply and demand and examines how it can contribute to the faster construction of infrastructure onshore and offshore. In this way they have a stronger dialogue with the network operators and the government.
- The coalition will propose a path for aligning investments and will set up a long-term electrification agenda with the government.
- The coalition will organize knowledge sessions between the sectors. This allows the sectors to innovate and seek financing together.
- The coalition is investigating how the energy system can become more flexible by better matching supply and demand, both in the short and long term. They will also make recommendations on regulations and stimulating government policy.
Joint path with certainty for all involved
The action plan provides certainty about the parts of the business case that are less easily influenced by the parties alone.
The wind energy sector will have more certainty about the growth in demand for sustainable electricity and green hydrogen. This gives more certainty about income and reduces financing risks and thus the costs of offshore wind. In addition, growth in the sector provides economies of scale and even lower costs.
The energy-intensive industry will gain a better insight into the costs of electrification. Connecting supply and demand development clarifies whether, when and in what form renewable electricity will become available and what the costs will be. This provides more certainty about the costs of the business case for electrification and offers prospects for upscaling of electrical processes and therefore cost reduction.
In addition, certainty about the growth of supply and demand provides the grid operator with certainty about which investments to make in the transmission grid. Finally, certainty about the demand and supply coupling ensures lower costs for society and accelerated realization of climate goals.
If the government guarantees the necessary laws and regulations and incentives, both sectors can stand for their responsibility to achieve the goals as agreed in the Climate Agreement.