“The economy continues to grow, the energy transition is picking up steam, and the Dutch government has presented its Climate Agreement,” explains Ingrid Thijssen, Alliander’s CEO. “This involves a lot of work on the energy infrastructure in the Netherlands, and that requires investments. But it also requires innovation so that we can prevent extra work for scarce technicians and unnecessary investment in grids wherever possible.”
Innovating to prevent network expansions
The surge in solar farm subsidies in particular is causing the electrical grid to rapidly approach its capacity limitations. Alliander is pushing for new solar farms to only be allowed in areas where the electrical grid can handle the power fed in. Wherever grid capacity is insufficient, the authorities should instead subsidise pilots where renewable power is converted into hydrogen locally. In the long term, this seems like a promising solution to prevent having additional investments into the networks. Alliander is already set to launch a trial together with partners at the Oterleek electrical substation and at a solar farm in Oosterwolde to convert renewable energy from solar and wind farms into hydrogen.
In the first half of 2019, Alliander invested € 402 million (2018: € 345 million), which is a 17% increase. In numerous areas, Alliander is working on reinforcing and expanding the network. Besides rolling out new and thicker cables, we are building new electrical substations and expanding existing ones. In Borculo and De Weel, for example, we have invested millions in additional transformers over the past months.
Financial results excluding incidental items
Excluding incidental items, Alliander’s net profit for the first half of 2019 came in at € 122 million (2018: € 125 million). Operating income for the first half of 2019 was up € 4 million to € 971 million (2018: € 967 million). Operating expenses totalled € 783 million in the first half of 2019, compared to € 775 million in the same period in 2018. Alliander also issued green bonds with a nominal value of € 300 million in the first half of 2019. The proceeds will be used to refinance investment in the fair meter, a sustainably produced smart gas and electricity meter.