Energy agreement requires batteries

17 March 2022 

The convenience of energy from gas and coal will soon be behind us thanks to the energy agreement. We will have to use energy very differently. By 2030, the amount of green electricity we produce in the Netherlands from nature must be increased by five times. This will require hundreds of additional wind mills and the installation of millions of solar panels.


The disadvantage of this type of energy is that it is only available when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. So that requires a different approach. The world will start using “smart devices”; that are devices that turn on when a lot of power is available. In a similar way we will be charging the electric car and the industry will also have to deal with power. The chemical factory will soon be running at peak production on a windy day.


But in addition, it will continue to be necessary to store electricity. Eneco recently built the largest battery in Europe in northern Germany. The thing is seventy meters long and reportedly cost 30 million euros. The wind energy that can be stored in it is just enough to provide electricity to 5,300 households for one 24-hour period. This mainly proved that this solution is too expensive and extensive for the power supply.


However, Elfa expects that large batteries will soon be a part of the electricity grid. After all, these mega batteries are useful for keeping the electricity grid in balance. The frequency of the power grid must remain constantly exact at fifty hertz. Nowadays, gas power plants can still be shut down when the wind is strong, or fired up on cloudy days. But in the near future, those power plants will not be there. Batteries can then provide a buffer that provides stability. Also the batteries from cars for that matter. Soon we will have millions of electric cars in the Netherlands. These cars are stationary more than 90% of the time. At peak times, owners can choose to, power from the car battery back into the grid.

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