Jetten intervenes in the electricity network and takes control over licensing

Climate and energy minister Rob Jetten (D66) will intervene on the electricity network. Thats what he says in Nieuwsuur. Among other things, he wants to accelerate the pace of issuing permits to install additional power cables, for example.

Jetten acknowledges that in recent years, the cabinet should have โ€œdone moreโ€ to expand the electricity network. Due to the explosive increase in demand for electricity, the grid is already full in many places. Jetten: โ€œAfter the Ukraine War and the resulting energy crisis, the aggravation of the electricity grid is my headache file.โ€

Warnings for years

Jetten blames the problem on โ€œa double successโ€. โ€œThere are more wind farms and solar parks that provide green energy to the grid, and there are more and more companies that want to electrify and therefore also purchase electricity.โ€

It has been warned for years that this combination would lead to a shortage on the net. Little was done with those warnings. There are already at least 6,700 companies and institutions on a waiting list for a connection.

This year, electricity demand is rising even more rapidly due to the war in Ukraine. There is now much less gas coming from Russia, which is why the price of gas is rising. Companies that still use a lot of gas are therefore switching to electricity more quickly.

On Tuesday, network operators in Nieuwsuur warned that without drastic measures, companies will sometimes have to wait years before they can get more electricity. Minister Jetten is now promising additional investments in the electricity network and he says he will sit โ€œon top of licensingโ€.

โ€œWe now often see with large energy infrastructure projects that preparation takes far too long. It takes years to arrange permits and buy land before there is even a shovel in the ground.โ€

The pace of projects that aim to increase the capacity of the electricity network must therefore increase, says Jetten. He plans to take over the licensing of municipalities and provinces โ€œmuch more oftenโ€.

Jetten emphasizes that on Prinsjesdag, the cabinet already announced an investment of half a billion euros in grid operator Stedin. Furthermore, he says, we need to use the existing network smarter. โ€œPartly by encouraging companies to purchase their electricity at other times with off-peak rates, but also by incorporating power storage into the network.โ€