Energy system of the future demands smart interaction between key players
The energy system of the future demands well-coordinated interaction between energy producers, grid operators, energy consumers and public authorities. A broad coalition of economic operators has taken the initiative to investigate how this essential interaction can be well-organised with an eye to the future. This resulted in a guide for orchestrating system integration in the Netherlands.
Until recently, the components of the energy system, such as new power plants, could be developed separately without requiring much coordination with other components of the system. If insufficient efforts are made to integrate systems, if the parties do not coordinate sufficiently and if barriers to harmonisation in the relevant legislation and regulations persist for too long, the energy transition will suffer. A broad coalition of economic operators, consisting of KVGN, TenneT, NVDE, Energie Nederland, VNCI, VNO-NCW, EBN, Gasunie, GasTerra, NOGEPA and Shell, has therefore launched an initiative to investigate how successful interaction can be developed.
The share of renewable sources in the energy mix is growing rapidly as a result of climate policy. Efforts are not only being made to develop new energy sources, such as hydrogen, but energy demand is changing too. For example, industrial processes are being electrified. Grid operators have to keep track of all these changes by expanding their electricity networks and rebuilding gas infrastructure in good time. In order to do this well, energy system operators will have to cooperate much more than they have in the past on 'system integration', and governments will have to prepare other framework conditions and incentives.
This necessary interaction will not come about organically, but will have to be organised. The report 'Exploratory study of the orchestration and organisation of system integration in the energy system in the Netherlands’ (Dutch title: Verkenning naar de orkestratie van Systeemintegratie in het Energiesysteem in Nederland') describes how coordination can best be organised. Practical examples already show how this works at the local level. The report also notes that more joined-up policymaking and governance is needed at the national level in the Netherlands. There is a need for an ‘organisation’ that feels the responsibility to orchestrate the desired interactions.
A working group of experts prepared the report under the auspices of the Netherlands Energy Dialogue Foundation and with the support of MSG Sustainable Strategies and De Gemeynt.
At a later stage, the initiators will take stock of system integration initiatives, the latest developments, and how the initiatives are organised. Based on this stock-take, they will form proposals that aim to ensure there is a structural focus on this challenge.
Read the full report 'Exploratory study of the orchestration and organisation of system integration in the energy system in the Netherlands’ here (Dutch only).