Stedin calls for EV-charging to be turned off between 4 and 9 p.m.

The Dutch grid operator Stedin calls charging station operators to switch off charging stations for electric cars between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., especially in urban areas. The Netherlands has more than half a million charging stations, two-thirds of which are on the street. If they are all switched on simultaneously at full power, the grid will be in trouble.

To make people more aware of their electricity use, particularly when they do so, and avoid peak hours on the grid, Stedin launched the ‘eClock’ on Wednesday. This clock is an online tool that helps people to plan their electricity use more consciously and spread it over the day. Stedin wants to hang physical ‘eClocks’ in the Dutch street scene in the future too.

Stedin is currently talking to several municipalties in the Netherlands to hang a physical eClock on public places /Stedin

Turning green or red

The eClock turns green when there is sufficient space on the grid and red when the power grid is in danger of overloading. This way, people can determine when it is better, for example, to postpone their washing program or charge the car at a different time. The eKlok can be found at www.eklok.nl.

Stedin, active in most of South Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht, calls on consumers, companies, and governments to jointly reduce the pressure on the grid. According to the company, this is necessary to prevent peak loads on the power grid.

High electricity demand

Most people come home from work between four and nine o’clock and turn on all kinds of appliances, creating a high electricity demand. “We do everything we can to expand the electricity grid. We will invest at least 8 billion euros until 2030. But that won’t get us there,” Stedin CEO Koen Bogers explains. “Of all the capacity that will be added until 2030, in some urban areas, twenty percent will be spent on the use of on-street charging stations.”

Not everyone has to charge their car around dinner time. Charging your car is perfectly possible at other times of the day, for example, when there is a lot of solar power available or at night when the grid is quieter.

For every charging station turned off during the evening peak, Stedin can connect roughly one additional newly built home. “This could ultimately amount to additional space for the construction of 45,000 homes in an entire province,” the grid operator says.

‘Rigorous measure’

The Electric Drivers’ Association, an organization that stands up for users of electric transport users, says to be “surprised”. We want electric drivers to be guaranteed to charge a certain amount of energy within a few hours.

According to the organization, it’s a “rigorous measure”, which would affect people with electric cars. “It also does not help to increase the popularity of electric driving.” Demand for electric cars is already under pressure due to taxes and relatively high prices, the association says.

The success of solar panels

The success of the solar panels partly caused the problems on the power grid. Anyone who has solar panels can use the electricity grid as a battery. You supply the excess electricity to the grid and get it back for free during cloudy times.

Grid operators had argued for phasing out this scheme to encourage households to store electricity in home batteries or turn on the washing machine when the sun shines.

Around three thousand consumers reported last year that the inverter of their solar panels failed regularly. According to Stedin, this is because the cable in the street is full of solar power at such times. The number of complaints has doubled compared to a year earlier.

 

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