Mitigation measures in practice. Grid congestion solutions for electric logistics

The logistics sector is facing a sustainability challenge. There are still many uncertainties and challenges involved in this transition, such as sufficient availability and quality of the desired types of vehicles, availability and quality of infrastructure including charging infrastructure, and sufficient electricity grid capacity. Solutions that address power grid capacity shortage, also known as grid congestion, are the subject of a study conducted by CE Delft.  Even if all other uncertainties and challenges are overcome, the transition will not be completely possible within the set ambitions until this grid congestion issue is resolved. Grid operators need to upgrade the network for this, but companies can also do a lot themselves in the short term by taking mitigating measures.

Two key steps were taken in this study for the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat):

  • A roadmap consisting of eight steps to realise electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and mitigation measures has been developed. These steps and the report are aimed at companies that will adopt electric vehicles in the coming years.
  • In addition, a test case in which steps 1 to 5 of the roadmap were completed took place for a collection yard of the municipality of Amsterdam. Based on these results, through a combination of mitigation measures such as smart charging, non-firm-ATO(1.) and battery, it appears that it will be possible to charge electric trucks and vans without taking more power from the grid. This does require additional investment and the grid connection must be increased in combination with a flexible contract. This means that although there are many challenges an organisation faces when it wants to switch to electrification of its vehicles, grid congestion may not necessarily be an unsolvable problem.

(1.) Non-firm-ATO is a flexible contract with the grid operator. The company can only use electricity at times when the grid is used less; during peak times, the non-firm capacity can be used less or not at all.