Pillar 2: Alliander invests in alternative open infrastructures
The construction of alternative infrastructures is one way of preventing costlier investments in the existing network. Consider, for instance, a scenario where a local community wants to install heat pumps in every individual home. In this case, the demand for electricity at peak times will rise sharply (especially on cold days). This would require a substantial upgrade of the electricity network. It is crucial to ascertain with all stakeholders whether this is the cheapest and most sustainable solution. An alternative infrastructure may be a better option. That is why Alliander is investing in the development of alternative energy networks. It is vital to keep this new infrastructure accessible (‘open’) to everyone under equal conditions. Universal access makes these networks more affordable, as the costs can be shared among more users. Added to this, facilitating the market forms an important part of our corporate social responsibility.
One of the activities we are focusing on is heating networks. In the reporting year, our first heating network was officially put into operation in Nijmegen by Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs. In the meantime, Alliander Duurzame Gebiedsontwikkeling (DGO) has worked on more new heating networks at other locations in the Netherlands, such as Boxtel, Haarlem, Venlo and Hengelo.
In addition, our business unit Allego invests in new charging infrastructure for electric mobility in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Electric driving is gaining traction. The number of charging stations is growing rapidly in the Netherlands and Germany. Allego's concept is based on 'open' charging stations: you can fill up at any supplier. This new infrastructure also contributes towards efficient network management. In 2015, Allego installed new charging points at various municipalities in the Netherlands, and made arrangements for the installation of 220 charging stations in Berlin in Germany.
Another Allego initiative is its partnership with Vandebron, an energy supplier where customers can buy clean energy direct from local producers. This partnership enables e-drivers to charge their cars with green power generated locally.