Impact of the Heat Transition on the Local Electricity Grid. Insight and Advice for Municipalities

We were commissioned by the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) to study (future) developments in the electricity grid, in conjunction with Netbeheer Nederland. The measures to make buildings more sustainable, the increasing number of solar panels and the charging of electric vehicles all have a major impact on the local power grid. The low-voltage grid and transformer substations are not designed to cope with the increase in electricity demand and production. Grid reinforcement will therefore be necessary in practically all neighbourhoods, districts and villages. This means that new transformer substations and power lines must be installed by the grid operator in a timely manner.

The future heat alternatives are one of the most decisive factors. In some areas, space must be found for 55-85% additional transformer substations. Good cooperation between governments, grid operators and grid users is necessary so that the electricity grid can grow along with developments.

This study provides municipalities with several recommendations on how to address challenges to the electricity grid in residential areas:

  • Firstly, assess the situation and capabilities of the local grid together with the regional grid operator.
  • Take an integral look at the connection between the (future) energy system, spatial planning and the subsurface.
  • Reserve space proactively, optimise permit processes where possible, plan ahead for the long term and explore how local developments impact the regional grid.