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Asked by Robert Spencer,

Head of Unit Gas Markets & Regulation The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa).

What role does gas play in the energy transition to guarantee reliability?

“Energy supplies of the future must be sustainable and reliable, while remaining affordable. These three goals often seem to contradict each other and it is a challenge to keep a balance”, says Robert Spencer of the NMa.

To achieve this, Nuon uses various energy sources, minimizing the risk of one energy source being (temporarily) unavailable. Flexibility is important, but we also want to lower the CO2 emissions and increase the portion of energy generated sustainably.

Role of gas
We want to exploit renewable energy sources optimally. This is only possible when used in combination with an energy source that can respond flexibly to peaks and troughs in the energy requirement. As well as responding to the peaks and troughs in the sustainable energy production. As occurs when weather conditions are not optimal for solar or wind power.

Gas meets these requirements perfectly and we expect gas to continue playing an important role in the fuel mix. Vast quantities of this fuel source will remain available over the coming decades, guaranteeing a stable energy supply. Nuon actively sources gas on the world markets to ensure a variety of sources and to be less dependent on external parties.

Smart production
In 2012, Nuon opened two new gas-fired power stations; Hemweg 9, to increase the flexibility of energy production in the region around Amsterdam, and Diemen 34. The new Diemen Power Station has made clever use of the excess heat released during production, by linking to the Almere city heating system by means of a heat transport network. The network covers a distance of 8.5 km and is located 1.5 meters below the lakebed of IJmeer.

European energy policy
Nuon wants to continue investing in a competitive energy market. We are in favour of a cross-border European energy policy. A single European energy market with equal competition conditions ('a level playing field') is important for the Netherlands to maintain a good competitive position. Long-term certainty in laws and regulations is also necessary for a stable investment climate.

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