1. What electricity storage projects have been commissioned in your jurisdiction to date?

In January 2016 the first large battery-based energy storage facility in the Netherlands was commissioned by AES. The array can provide 10 MW of interconnected energy storage. It will help to balance supply and demand for electricity by providing primary control reserve for the national transmission grid operated by the transmission system operator (TSO)TenneT. In this regard, the AES project provides operational flexibility while lowering overall system costs and emissions levels.

 A further development in the field of energy storage is the rolling out of the small-scale Tesla home battery, Powerwall, which was launched in the first quarter of 2016 in the Netherlands. The Powerwall has a 7 kWh energy storage capacity, sufficient to power a home during the evening using electricity generated by solar panels during the day. The Powerwall can also store cheap electricity imported from the grid at night that can be consumed during the day when electricity is more expensive, therefore optimising energy consumption behind the meter. The Dutch energy company, Eneco, is the supplier of the Tesla Powerwall.

2. What electricity storage projects are anticipated in your jurisdiction in coming years?

AES is planning to build two more battery-based energy storage facilities in the Netherlands, of which one may be installed near Arnhem. Furthermore, the Dutch energy company NUON is researching, in cooperation with the Technical University of Delft, the possibility of converting Magnum, its gas-fired electricity generation plant in Eemshaven, into an ammonia based energy storage facility. Under the project name “ReCharge”, SUEZ and Cofely are exploring possibilities to reuse car batteries in order to create a large scale battery to store energy. Although these projects are still in their exploratory phase, the interest in energy storage from market participants is steadily increasing.

3. Is there any specific legislation/regulation or programme that relates to energy storage in your jurisdiction?

Although renewable energy projects in general are possible under current legislation, the Netherlands has no specific legislation for energy storage. The legislator has drafted a bill combining and improving the current Electricity and Gas Act also known as “STROOM”. The bill provided for more room for research and development for, amongst other projects, energy storage. Unfortunately the bill was rejected and the Ministry of Economic Affairs is currently redrafting the bill to facilitate experimental storage projects. The Ministry of Economic Affairs wants to then adjust Dutch legislation depending on the outcome of the R&D projects. In accordance with the roadmap (explained in more detail below), new legislation should be implemented in the period 2018-2022 to keep up with the developments related to energy storage.

4. Please give examples of challenges facing energy storage projects in your jurisdiction and how current projects have overcome these challenges.

A primary conclusion is that energy storage in the Netherlands is still in its infancy and, except for the commissioned AES battery project, most projects are still in the exploratory phase. Furthermore, due to the proposed new Electricity and Gas bill having been rejected by parliament, national legislation provides little to no incentives for the development of energy storage. Occasional incentives have been provided by local governments, which have signed “green deals” to support research into opportunities for energy storage. A possible governmental incentive for energy storage could be provided in the form of a discount on the entry and exit connection tariffs, as has been done for gas storage in the Netherlands.

5. What are the main entities in the electricity sector and what are their roles or expected roles in relation to energy storage?

The Ministry of Economic Affairs is the legislative entity responsible for future legislation in the field of energy storage. The developments and solutions in the field of energy storage are in line with the recently released Netherlands Energy Storage Roadmap, developed by the international certification body and consultancy DNV GL, the Technical University of Delft and consultancy firm Berenschot. The roadmap was initiated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. 

The electricity distribution and transmission networks are publicly managed and owned. The Netherlands has one TSO, TenneT, which is owned by the state, and has the task of balancing supply and demand for electricity, in which energy storage will become a factor in the future. 

The energy market in the Netherlands is regulated by the Dutch energy regulator, the Authority for Consumers and Markets(ACM) (Autoriteit Consument en Markt)

As for the development of energy storage projects, commercial parties such as AES, NUON, SUEZ, Cofely, among others, are exploring the possibilities for energy storage.