Sustainable heating supply

The transition to an alternative, sustainable heating supply affects all companies, consumers, building owners and public authorities in our service area. Choosing new heating solutions is not an easy task and the availability of infrastructure increasingly often plays a major role as well. The choices being made are already having a major impact on the low-voltage network capacity. As the scale of sustainability improvements increases, we are also expecting issues in the higher voltage networks.

Support from municipalities and housing corporations  

At Alliander, we see it as our role to effectively facilitate the process of making the built environment sustainable, to inform customers about the best way of doing so and to work together with municipalities and housing corporations. To this end, we have a contact person for each municipality to discuss and contribute ideas for the Transition Vision Statement for Heating, the district implementation plans and the housing corporations’ sustainability plans. In 2023, we also started using permanent contact persons for housing corporations. Housing corporations can also perform a digital network test, with Liander indicating whether the sustainability improvements can be implemented.

Sustainability of the built environment is increasing

In 2023, removal of gas connections rose by around 39% compared to the previous year. However, sustainability improvement is more than direct gas connection removals only. The national increase in hybrid heat pumps has gone up. The impact of hybrid heat pumps on the grid is lower than that of all-electric pumps. Liander finds it difficult to predict where the growth is taking place due to a lack of collective alternatives and management from the municipalities. An area-based approach to the transition remains necessary to achieve the best possible heating solutions at a local level and to be able to tackle the network upgrades systematically. We are also calling on municipalities to continue their focus on promoting insulation. 

Start of local programming

Creating an early picture of all the developments in a district and suggesting the best possible energy system for them is a complex task for municipalities. As we have noticed, however, autonomous growth is so rapid that congestion is also occurring in residential districts. This requires faster upgrading of the district networks, but this does mean the decision-making process for matters such as alternative heating solutions needs to be accelerated in line with the regional developments and the higher voltage networks. In late 2023 we therefore started local programming with municipalities, in which we design an energy system together with municipalities.

Sustainable gases 

Sustainably produced hydrogen is an important part of the envisaged future energy supply. Alliander is working on a vision for hydrogen use in the six industrial clusters in the Netherlands. 
We are exploring the use of hydrogen in various projects. A major goal of this is to learn how our existing networks can be used effectively. In a pilot in Lochem, Alliander is investigating the use of hydrogen together with its residents. Alliander is also investing in the development of regional hydrogen distribution networks. In Amsterdam, for example, we are working with the Port of Amsterdam on developing a regional hydrogen network. Firan prepared the design for this in 2023. Alliander is also participating in the European Hy2Market project, in which leading regions collaborate to accelerate hydrogen production, distribution and application. The project was launched in 2023 and runs until 2026.

Green gas

In 2023, 27 green gas providers fed in 75 million cubic metres of green gas to the Liander network. Over 280 million cubic metres of green gas are fed in nationally. Due to increased incentives from the government (higher SDE subsidy for green gas and the announced blending obligation), we have seen an increased number of surveys for green gas feed-in and signed quotations (contracts) since 2022. The increased feed-in expected as a result of this was not reflected in the feed-in figures for 2023. The target in the Climate Agreement is that two billion cubic metres of green gas should be fed into the Dutch gas networks by 2030, so this requires upscaling. To achieve the required acceleration, Liander is preparing for the expected growth in both the number of green gas providers and the volume of green gas in our networks together with Netbeheer Nederland. We do this, for example, by developing a national map that provides insight into the existing room for feed-in, but also by removing obstacles in the field of gas quality and other aspects.   

Network connections

In 2023, Liander worked on a plan for connecting the networks in Flevoland and Friesland in collaboration with Gasunie Transport Services (GTS). In these provinces, not enough of the green gas in the Liander networks is being used in the summer for all existing and desired gas providers. Moving the green gas to the GTS network will expand the reach for consumers over larger distances and creates room in the Liander network for further growth of green gas feed-in.