Rotterdam is one of the world’s leading energy ports and it no longer owes this status solely to fossil fuels like coal and oil. The port is also focusing on sustainable sources of power like biofuels, LNG, solar and wind.
One can find a number of wind turbines spread across Rotterdam’s port area. Their combined capacity is 200 Megawatts (MW) – roughly equivalent to 6.5% of the Netherlands’ total terrestrial wind power production.
Over the next few years, the share of wind power in the energy mix for Rotterdam’s port and industrial complex promises to increase even further. This means the port of Rotterdam is well on its way to realising its ambition to be one of Northwest Europe’s leading sustainable energy hubs.
Fossil fuels like natural gas, oil and coal are finite. That’s why the Port of Rotterdam Authority is investing in the transition towards the generation of sustainable power. In addition, it aims to operate the port area on a sustainable basis. Its Port Vision 2030 sets out how it will be making a targeted investment in alternative sources of energy like wind power.
In the autumn of 2017, the owners of the Hartel 2 wind farm (Greenchoice and IE Projects) announced their ambition to increase their contribution towards the energy transition in the Netherlands and the port of Rotterdam – or, more specifically, their intention to invest in power storage. The increasing importance of power from sustainable sources within our overall energy production engenders new challenges. We need to maintain the balance between the generation and the consumption of electric power – even though both parts of this equation are becoming increasingly difficult to predict. These challenges are reflected in increased activity and higher costs for major consumers and producers of electric power, as well as grid operators like Stedin and Tennet, which are responsible for maintaining this balance.
The ultimate objective of the energy transition is a far-reaching reduction of our reliance on fossil fuels. The key indicator in this endeavour is the extent to which we are able to cut back our CO2 emissions. By definition, the energy transition will result in a growing dependence on electric power. This entails considerable challenges for the electrical grid. We can see two mutually reinforcing trends. On the one hand, there’s the increased consumption of electric power (heat pumps, vehicles that run on electricity rather than fossil fuels). On the other, there’s increasing production (wind and solar), which is nevertheless more difficult to manage. Together these two trends result in a growing need for flexibility in the Netherlands’ energy supply, to allow the dynamic coordination of the production and consumption of electric power. In other words: we can see a strong need for an alternative form of power storage. At present, the Netherlands’ electrical grid does not include storage facilities – even though they are a prerequisite for a successful energy transition.
By facilitating the realisation of the new power storage facility at the Hartel 2 wind farm, the Port Authority will contribute to the following elements in the energy transition:
• The development of an innovative, active and immediate solution and sub-solution for one of the main challenges entailed by the current energy transition: the adaptation of the Netherlands’ infrastructure for the storage of sustainable power to allow the more effective coordination of supply and consumption;
• Maintaining balance in the Dutch electrical grid – and, as a result, increasing the stability of the Netherlands’ power supply network.
We are committed to ensuring that the port and its environs are safe, healthy and appealing. We aim to counter climate change while ensuring that the port area makes a significant contribution to Dutch prosperity and employment.
Energy in transition
The Port of Rotterdam Authority is committed to combating climate change and wants to play a leading role in the global energy transition. The reduction of CO₂ emissions and efficient use of raw and residual materials are important tasks for the Port Authority.
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