Trends and market developments
In the pursuit of our mission it is important to know which factors can influence our activities. In this chapter we describe the most important trends and market developments taking place around us and what we must do in response.
What we see around us
We are currently going through a period of strong economic growth. This is spurring demand for energy. New businesses are started every day and the number of homes in our service area is also growing. The Amsterdam area in particular is bustling with new developments.
Another accelerating trend concerns the use and generation of renewable energy, partly thanks to government incentives. Solar energy is becoming increasingly affordable, and there are many plans for large-scale solar parks in the regions where Alliander is active. In addition, large wind farms are being constructed and electric transport is already a familiar sight in our streets.
At the same time, initiatives to abandon fossil fuels, such as natural gas, are increasingly being taken. More and more municipalities are developing natural gas-free neighbourhoods and regulations are being prepared to abolish the statutory gas connection. The drive towards sustainability will gain further momentum in the coming years, an additional stimulus being the CO2 reduction commitment in the coalition agreement. In the course of 2018 the cabinet will present proposals for a new national energy and climate agreement, which will contain further concrete arrangements to achieve the global climate objectives. To facilitate the transition to a sustainable energy supply, it is important for us to know well ahead of time what should be done where and when. This means that municipalities should draw up multi-year action plans at short notice.
To bring about the energy transition, we must be ready on time to facilitate the changeover to a sustainable energy system. In this connection we are focusing on options that are good for the customer, but also for society as a whole. These efforts will only succeed if we work in partnership with our customers and stakeholders. The first vital step is to promote energy saving measures (for instance, the insulation of homes and buildings). Alternative forms of heating, such as heating networks, biogas and electricity, will be rolled out. We must also put our network structure under the microscope. And, finally, innovative storage technologies must be developed to accommodate the increasing energy supply from renewable sources such as solar panels and wind turbines. The exact roadmap and the pace of the transition are not yet clear. So we must be flexible and have a keen eye for all developments taking place in the world around us.
From trends to strategy
The trends, developments and issues in the world around us constitute the basis of our strategy. This describes how we as a company deal with the challenges of the changing energy system. Our strategy outlines how we are responding to this, while our SWOT analysis sets out where the opportunities and challenges lie for our organisation.