Dutch demand for electricity is increasingly being met by electricity from solar and wind. The increasing share of solar and wind means that there are increasingly periods of surplus, while fossil power plants are used to supplement the shortfalls. A completely CO2-free electricity supply requires that surpluses are put to good use and shortfalls are replenished without this resulting in CO2 emissions.
In this study, commissioned by the Foundation for Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection (Stichting Natuur en Milieu), CE Delft provides a roadmap for a fully CO2-free electricity sector by 2035 and presents the policies needed to achieve this. Without new policy measures, there will be no CO2-free regulating capacity to make up for long-term shortfalls from solar and wind. The technologies (hydrogen-fuelled power plants and fuel cells) need to be developed further in terms of efficiency and costs, but above all, CO2-free standards will have to be adopted. The government will need to ensure security of the supply of a large share of solar and wind by means of a capacity market, high fines or its own investment in generation assets. Short-term shortfalls can easily be resolved by the use of batteries, a mature technology that is waiting for policies in order to scale-up.