Alliander is one of the largest grid managers in the Netherlands.  Within the energy transition, Alliander has an important role in building the infrastructure for the energy system of the future. The reliability and affordability of the grid remain crucial factors in this respect. With the support of the Impact Institute, Alliander has therefore been measuring, reporting and managing the social impact of its activities since 2015.

Project description

In cooperation with Alliander, a strategic impact analysis was carried out in 2020 on the social value of (temporarily) abandoning maximum reliability in order to speed up the connection of new customers and sustainable generation.

Why? The regional grid operators are required by law to connect everyone within set reliability standards and, when demand increases, to reinforce the grid. However, due to shortages in the grid and technical staff, there is insufficient grid capacity to connect renewable energy companies and installations in time.

The analysis shows that although the (temporary) abandonment of established reliability standards can lead to a longer disruption duration, the impact of this is much smaller than the value creation resulting from earlier connection. The social return is particularly high when a back-up is installed by the customer to absorb possible failures.

The greatest social value is created when connections for sustainable generation are given priority. This is not (yet) possible within the current regulations of a grid manager.

Benefits to the client

The case offers Alliander insight into the social value created by various forms of grid capacity deployment. The results provide insights for a broader stakeholder dialogue on regulation and prioritisation of grid capacity allocation and the social role of the grid manager.

From the Alliander 2020 annual report:

Overview of the results of ‘Impact case 1: Dealing differently with disturbance reserve in the event of grid congestion’.