The Netherlands government has laid out ambitious plans to be climate neutral by 2050 and has engaged in multi-pronged efforts to meet this goal. It has successfully promoted the generation of renewable energy through the installation of utility-scale and household-level solar photovoltaics, and decided to shift away from fossil gas use.

These efforts, while they have moved the Netherlands closer to achieving decarbonisation, have rapidly changed both energy demand and supply. These changes at the end of the wires have placed significant pressure on the grid, with the glut of renewable energy posing a particular congestion challenge. Currently, the high- and middle-voltage grids are so congested that many parts of the country are at or near capacity, and there are few connections available for new customers.

In response to the dire situation, the Netherlands government developed the National Grid Congestion Action Programme in late 2022. The programme outlines three goals, with a focus on smarter use of the existing grid:

  • Faster grid construction.
  • Stronger incentives for more efficient grid use.
  • Increases in the flexibility of grid users.

In this paper, Zsuzsanna Pató reviews the ways the Netherlands plans to ease the current gridlock in both the short- and longer-term.