Grid for the Future

If the Netherlands is to become CO2-neutral by 2050, our energy systems will need to undergo a radical transition over the coming decades. How exactly is as yet unclear, though, and depends on a host of socio-cultural and political considerations.To get a handle on potential developments, grid operators need to explore alternative futures. In the Grid for the Future study, four different scenarios for the Netherlands were therefore elaborated and the numbers crunched by a taskforce comprising grid-operator representatives, working under the umbrella of the Association of Energy Network Operators in the Netherlands and supported by CE Delft.

The scenarios differ in the kind of society they envisage and how the transition process is steered: the degree of government coordination and reliance on imports, for example. The Grid for the Future study thus explores the possible contours of the future energy supply, depending on how socio-cultural and political factors play out and on the choices underlying the vision of tomorrow’s world. Crucially, it seeks to establish the consequences this will have for the various kinds of energy infrastructure.

Each scenario reflects an entirely different country, with radically different energy systems. We have mapped out the likely changes in industry, heat supply, transport, and power and light. We have looked at how energy will be sourced, how supply can be matched to demand, and what impacts the new grid infrastructure will have. The costs of that infrastructure have been calculated and a price tag put on the country’s overall energy system.