New trainee, Alec Koning!

Hi everyone,
I am Alec, a 19 year old boy from the local village. Currently, I am studying HBO, Entrepreneurship at University Inholland. I just started my third year and now I have to take part in a business for 6 months. I will become responsible for the social media channels and will play an important role in the sales and marketing activities. I hope my colleagues will enjoy my time at Wind Energy Solutions the same as I do.

Dorian 0,5

Hurricane Dorian causes catastrophe on the Bahamas

We wish strength to all people involved in the situation on the Bahamas. We remember times like these on Peter Island that also was affected by two category 5 hurricanes, two years ago in 2017. An engineer of WES was doing maintenance on Peter Island that helps the resort to reach their sustainable goals, while hurricanes Maria and Irma passed by. Times like these are difficult but we have to work hard to get over it and rebuilt our sustainable life.

Nowadays the Bahamas have to deal with one of the most powerful Atlantic  hurricanes in history. The category 5 hurricane Dorian already destroyed over 13.000 houses. This digit will rise in the upcoming days but luckily there are a lot of people evacuated . Once again, we want to support all the people in de surrounding areas. Stay strong together!



WES National Winner of the Energy Globe Award Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha!

We are delighted to inform you that Wind Energy Solutions is the National Energy Globe Winner of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha!
All national winners were announced in the framework of the World Environment Day on June 5, 2019. Our St. Helena project is now evaluated for the International Award of 2019 too.

The Project

The St. Helena project started in 1998 when three Lagerwey 18/80 turbines were installed on the island. In 2009 WES increased the number of turbines to a total of six by adding three WES80 80kW wind turbines. In 2014 another six turbines have doubled the wind capacity on the island of St. Helena to twelve wind turbines.

Initial situation

Power supply on islands is most of the time generated by diesel generators. WES wants to enter this market segment with its renewable energy generation plant and save fuel costs and co2 reduction for the end user or government.


The renewable energy generation plant (REGP) consists primarily out of a WES wind turbine and secondary out of a diesel generator. This means that the WES turbine also can be fit in in an existing diesel generator configuration. The WES passive pitch system and the smart control can regulate and stabilize the mini grid without extra controls.


The renewable energy generation plant (REGP) consists primarily out of a WES wind turbine and secondary out of a diesel generator. This means that the WES turbine also can be fit in in an existing diesel generator configuration. The WES passive pitch system and the smart control can regulate and stabilize the mini grid without extra controls. Since 1998 when the first three turbines were installed, the use of electricity on the island has doubled. With the addition of 6 turbines in 2014 the target is to reach a wind penetration level of 80% or more.

The Energy Globe Award

With more than 182 participating countries and over 2000 project submissions annually the  is today’s most prestigious environmental prize worldwide. It distinguishes projects regionally, nationally and globally that conserve resources such as energy or utilize renewable or emission-free sources. Award ceremonies are held all over the world. Prominent personalities as well as Energy Globe Ambassadors in 90 countries support the mission of Energy Globe. The activities of Energy Globe attract worldwide media attention – international TV stations report each year with approximately 1,000 hours of broadcasting time. The aim of the Energy Globe is to raise global attention on sustainable, everywhere applicable environmental solutions and to motivate people to also become active in this area.

2 blade 3 blade

How many blades are best for wind energy production?

The vast majority of wind turbines currently being installed have three blades. Why not four? Or two? Or a lot more to catch as much wind as possible?

The quick answer is that a two bladed wind turbine is already great for great efficiency. With two blades you need significantly less material, construction and maintenance costs. A third or fourth rotor blade makes the wind turbine marginally more efficient, while the construction and material costs increase considerably. The four blades of our historic wind mills were more of a practical choice.


The four blades of our historic wind mills were more of a practical choice.

Betz Law

Albert Betz formulated the law in 1919 that an ideal rotor can extract a maximum of 59% of the energy from the wind. If you get more energy out of the wind, the wind slows down further, that reduces the supply of wind to the turbine. An ideal rotor has endlessly infinitely narrow turbine blades, but according to a document that Siemens drew up in 2007 in which they deal with our question, it is stated that modern three-bladed wind turbines come to 80% of the Betz limit thanks to a smart blade design and a well-chosen rotation speed; a two-bladed turbine would achieve 5% less efficiency, but will have a higher return on investment because of the lower costs.

Two-bladed wind turbines offer a number of distinct advantages over three-bladed wind turbines.

The major advantage of having a reduced number of blades (and pitch drives) is the rotor weight (and therefore material) they approximately 30% less heavy than a comparable three-bladed rotor (Aerodyn engineering GmbH, 2014). Moreover, as two-bladed rotors operate at a higher rotational speed, the torque on the shaft is lower and more consequently the rotor and nacelle (which houses for instance the generator and drivetrain) are lighter. Another conveinience of a rotor with less than three blades is that they can be turned horizontally durig storm so they are less likely to be hit by lightning.

Two-bladed rotors are approximately 30% less heavy than a comparable three-bladed rotor

Another advantage can be found during transportation and construction: a two-bladed rotor can be transported fully preassembled and pretested on a ship’s deck to the wind farm site (De Vries, 2011). Finally, extreme loads can be considerably reduced by using horizontal parking of the rotor (Aerodyn engineering GmbH, 2014). Due to reduced extreme loads, the tower and foundation can be designed lighter.

Matter of taste

Roberto Delgado, principal engineer at 2-B Energy, it’s a matter of taste to choose between two or three bladed wind turbines. Some just prefer three-bladed models because they find them more aesthetic. Delgado wants to breathe new life into the two-bladed wind turbines. A two-bladed 6 MW 2-B Energy wind turbine has now been installed in Eemshaven for six years. Through individual pitch control (IPC), independently controlling the pitch of each turbine blade, this wind turbine can take away much of the dynamic load. Check out how our piching technique works https://windenergysolutions.nl/technology/

Storm resilience

A major disadvantage in areas with the most constant good wind is that they can turn into strong storms and hurricanes periodically. Most wind turbines cannot withstand the high wind speeds that these weather conditions entail. 2-bladed wind turbines can easily be brought down quickly with one crane intead of two cranes most thee-bladed turbines demand.

Our in-board-hoisting-crane can greatly reduce the maintenance costs of the two-bladed wind energy installations.

Our entire range of wind turbines can be equipped with an in-board-hoisting-crane which can be easily operated to secure the entire technical installation of the turbine without external crane within a few hours. In this way, no high costs have to be incurred for supplying and using any mobile crane installation.

A second advantage of this built-in elevator construction is that inspections on the rotor and major maintenance can also be carried out without equipment from external sources. In addition to the advantages of the installation compared to three-bladed wind turbines, this greatly reduces the maintenance costs of the two-bladed wind energy installations.

Check out our animation of the in-board-hoisting-crane in action.


Delgado foresees turbines of 10, 12 or more megawatts are going back to the two-bladed design. Dynamic load can always be better controlled with good steering. According to Delgado, a two-blade design for a wind turbine in the year 2019 has less than 3% lower efficiency than its three-leaf counterpart with the same diameter. You then get extra electricity from longer turbine blades, while you can still continue to benefit from lower construction, material and maintenance costs.

A number of companies have begun developing and building large two-bladed wind turbines (Schorbach and Dalhoff, 2012; Clover and Snieckus, 2014). This renewed interest in two-bladed wind turbines is mainly motivated by the increased focus on offshore wind energy. Cost of energy reduction of 10−12% is stated and in Clover and Snieckus (2014) a 20% reduction, on paper, is mentioned for two-bladed wind turbines. The potential cost of energy reduction makes that two-bladed turbines are an interesting opportunity which manufactures are actively exploring.


The sustainable and profitable path forward for owners of aging wind turbines

The wind energy sector is set for a development boom for the coming years. Nations around the world are gearing up for a substantial expansion in renewable energy to offset concerns over energy security and to meet strict environmental targets and timetables.

When it comes to wind power most of the focus is being put on offshore projects and the promise of larger than ever wind farms and turbines far out to sea. But operators and developers should not be so quick to downplay the potential of the onshore wind sector.

Too old some say, citing farms dating back to the 1980s. Not enough popular support to develop on new greenfield sites say others, and anyway all of the ‘windiest’ sites have already been taken haven’t they?
All true, and indeed given that a typical wind turbine has a product lifetime 20 years there are therefore increasing questions over the reliability and productivity of hundreds of existing onshore wind farms worldwide as developers and operators strive to meet ever more stringent quotas and demand.


All of the ‘windiest’ sites have already been taken haven’t they?


Onshore wind farms

Onshore wind farms can substantially contribute to the great new era of wind without the need for new site locations.

The options are retrofitting, essentially improving an existing turbines efficiency and capacity by fitting new technology such as better grid connections or the latest blade designs, and repowering, decommissioning an existing turbine and building a more modern and powerful version. The UK, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the US are undertaking the majority of repowering and retrofitting projects at present. This is perhaps unsurprising given their ‘pioneering’ status in the wind industry and hence a greater number of aged wind farms than elsewhere.
Emerging wind markets such as China and India though hold significant long-term potential with India already seeing some repowering activity.

The likelihood of failure simply increases in older turbines.


Repowering vs retrofitting

The likelihood of failure simply increases in older turbines and therefore the repair costs rise in proportion. This enormously enhances the potential profitability of repowering or retrofitting the old technology. The only real question is which of both options to take? The first, i.e. replacing old wind turbines with new ones, has its drawbacks because acquisition prices are high and the replacement involves a number of administrative steps that can get to last longer, besides having to add the time of acquisition and installation of the wind turbine itself.

Replacing part or all of the turbines before the end of their lifetime with new more efficient and more powerful machines

Repowering can refer to a single wind turbine or to a whole wind farm replacing part or all of the turbines before the end of their lifetime with new more efficient and more powerful machines. It can also be used to rearrange the location of the turbines in order to better integrate them into the local planning of residential areas. It is seen as a better option than building a new site at a different less windy location as most of the ‘windiest’ sites have already been developed on.

The ability to re-use part of the infrastructures already developed on site such as roads and grid connection also means less capital investment than building from scratch. Planning permission should also be easier from an existing site.

Overall an operator’s O&M costs are reduced after repowering projects thanks to newer and more efficient technology and economies of scale.
Prohibitive factors against repowering included temporary loss of revenue until the completion of a project, deemed only particularly beneficial for small-size turbines, more expensive and too complex.



The second solution that owners or operators can choose is the overhaul of the turbine, which means to renew some electrical and mechanical components of existing turbines and update the wind turbine control system.

Fitting in new technology such as better grid connections or the latest blade designs.

The main benefits of retrofitting include reduction of future running costs due to the better reliability of the replaced parts and increased productivity. Indeed it is estimated that retrofitting can improve reliability and productivity by up to 30%.

The cost of a retrofitting option varies but in general, components that are suitable for retrofitting don’t cost more than the O&M specified components and take no longer to install. It also has little effect on a turbine’s insurance or certification.


How are turbines retrofitted?

The retrofitting process consists in integrating a frequency converter equipped with the latest technology in power electronics and the renewal of some mechanical and electrical components.

The integration of the converter allows the wind turbine operate at variable speed to adapt its speed to the wind conditions as do the new wind turbines following current standards. This allows them to work at the optimum operating point for maximum energy transfer between the wind and the blades and smooth operation of the mechanical drive.

In addition, the cost of retrofitting is significantly less than the equivalent of a new wind turbine and its installation time is reduced depending on the owner’s needs and the conditions existing prior to retrofit.

The cost of retrofitting is significantly less than the equivalent of a new wind turbine.


Political support

Some industry players want to see better financial incentives given to operators such as more generous feed-in-tariffs to make repowering projects more economic. However that isn’t proving easy in today’s financial climate. I heard one leading developer say: “There is a strong belief that in the next few years there will be an easier planning regime, but that isn’t visible at the moment. So in all permitting is a problem.”

Whatever option is taken continued political support is vital. The ability of repowering and retrofitting to boost the wind sector’s capacity and productivity, not only in developed countries but also emerging markets, will be mute if governments are cutting renewable subsidies.


Wind Energy Solutions

At WES we have developed a solution to modernize aging wind turbines so that they can be profitable again. Although new wind turbines occupy their own position in the wind energy mix, there is also a growing demand to revitalize assets of a certain age.
With the maturity of the market for onshore wind power, assets are aging and many turbines have already completed their lifetime period.

Repowering and retrofitting offer a sustainable and profitable path forward and the opportunity should be grasped by all.

View all our turbines and options


Do you want to know what the best solution is for your business?

Vacature Business Development


Agro PV

Land use efficiency dramatically increases through dual use

The joint project “Agrophotovoltaic – Efficient Land Use Resource” (APV-Resola) has been testing solar power production and agriculture, in an efficient way, on the same area for more than two years. Solar modules with an output of 194 kW were installed at a height of five meters above a 0.3-hectare field on Lake Constance (German: Bodensee). In the first project year 2017, the project consortium headed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) has already demonstrated an increase in efficient land use to 160 percent. This result was again significantly exceeded in 2018.

As the Fraunhofer ISE reports, the partial shading among the solar modules increased agricultural yields in the hot summer of 2018, while the high solar radiation boosted solar power production. As a result, land use efficiency was 186 percent, as the researchers calculated.

Farmers record higher yields

Farmers of the Demeter farm community Heggelbach recorded higher yields of three of the four cultivated crops (winter wheat, potatoes, clover grass, celery) under the APV-Resola plant than on the reference area without solar modules. Celery benefited most (+12 percent), while winter wheat gained 3 percent and clover a minus 8 percent. “In terms of potatoes, the land use efficiency increased by 86 percent per hectare,” emphasizes project manager Stephan Schindele from Fraunhofer ISE.

We assume that the plants coped better with the drought-induced heat summer of 2018 due to the shading under the semitransparent solar modules.

Monitoring microclimatic conditions

In addition to stock development, yield and yield quality, scientists from the University of Hohenheim also collected data on the microclimatic conditions underneith and next to the APV-Resola plant. The photosynthetic solar radiation under the APV system was about 30 percent lower than on the reference surface. In addition to solar radiation, the PV modules primarily influenced precipitation distribution and soil temperature. The soil temperature under the panels was below that of the reference surface in spring and summer, while the air temperature was identical. In the hot and dry summer months of 2018, the soil moisture in the wheat stock under the PV panels was higher than on the reference area. In the winter months and other cultures, however, it was lower.

Better numbers despite extremely dry summer

“We assume that the plants better cope with the drought-induced heat summer of 2018 due to shading under the semitransparent solar modules,” says agronomist Andrea Ehmann. “This also illustrates the potential of the APV for dry regions, but also the need for further experiments in other climatic regions as well as with additional crop species”, adds her colleague Axel Weselek.

Agrophotovoltaic brings synergy effects for agriculture

double land usage

The solar irradiation in 2018, at 1,319.7 kWh per square meter, was 8.4 percent above the previous year. This increased the solar power production in the crop year 2018 by two percent to just under 250 MWh, which corresponded to an “exceptionally good” specific yield of 1,285.3 kWh per installed kilowatt peak. With electricity generation costs per kilowatt-hour, electricity from an agro-photovoltaic system is already competitive with small PV rooftop systems, and researchers are also counting on falling costs due to learning and scaling effects.

Agro-fotovoltaïsche installatie nu al concurrerend met kleine PV-opdaksystemen.

Increase in electricity demand

If the solar power is stored and used directly on site, as in the case of the Heggelbach farm community, additional sources of income are created for farmers through synergy effects. The use of electric vehicles is also gaining

“If policy permits, agro-photovoltaic can be the answer to the tank-or-plate discussion, because technically, farmers can do both by serving twice arable land in their core food production and by contributing to solar power to expand electromobility and protect the climate, “says Schindele.

Technology offers potential for dry land

In a project within the framework of the EU program Horizon 2020, the Fraunhofer researchers and their partners in Algeria are examining how the APV systems affect the water balance. In addition to reduced evaporation and lower temperatures, rainwater harvesting with PV modules also plays a role.

The project APV-Resola is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and FONA – Forschung für nachhaltige Entwicklung  (Research for Sustainable Development). It is a joint project of Fraunhofer ISE, BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH, Elektrizitätswerke Schönau, Hofgemeinschaft Heggelbach, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Regional aliance Bodensee-Oberschwaben and the University of Hohenheim. (Post picture: BayWa r.e.)


Add a wind turbine to your energy generation

For the electricity needed during the winter months, a private wind turbine at an agricultural company is ideal. Wind turbines produce the most electricity in the winter, whereas solar panels do this in the summer. Together they make the ideal combination to provide an agricultural company with electricity all year round. Especially in regions with sufficient wind, generating wind energy is much cheaper than storing solar energy in batteries.

View all our turbines and options


Do you want to know what the best green energy solution is for your business?

Agro PV

Optimale efficiëntie, bij dubbele functie landbouwgrond

Het gezamenlijke project “Agro-fotovoltaïk – Efficiënte landbouwgrond” (APV-Resola) test zonne-energieproductie en landbouw op een efficiënte manier Deze test vindt momenteel al twee jaar plaats op hetzelfde stuk land, om de uitkomst op verschillende gewassen onder de zelfde omstandigheden goed te onderzoeken. Zonnepanelen met een vermogen van 194 kW zijn geïnstalleerd op een hoogte van vijf meter boven een veld van 0,3 hectare aan het Bodenmeer (Duits: Bodensee). In het eerste projectjaar (2017) heeft het projectconsortium onder leiding van het Fraunhofer Instituut voor zonne-energiesystemen (ISE) al een toename van efficiënt landgebruik tot 160 procent laten zien. Dit resultaat werd aanzienlijk overtroffen in 2018 met 183 procent ten opzichte van afzonderlijke toepassingen.

Boeren registreerden hogere opbrengsten

De Fraunhofer ISE meldt, verhoogde productie door de gedeeltelijke schaduw tussen de zonnemodules de landbouwopbrengsten zelfs in de hete zomer van 2018. De hoge zonnestraling kon door de panelen deels afgeschermd worden, terwijl deze straling de productie van zonne-energie extra ten goede kwam. Dientengevolge, was de efficiëntie van het landgebruik 186 procent, zoals de onderzoekers berekenden.

Boeren van de Demeter boerderijgemeenschap Heggelbach registreerden hogere opbrengsten van drie van de vier gecultiveerde gewassen (wintertarwe, aardappelen, klaver, selderij) onder de APV-Resola-fabriek dan op het referentiegebied zonder zonnemodules. Selderij profiteerde met 12 procent het meest van de testopstelling, wintertarwe won 3 procent, waar klaver een min van 8 procent liet zien. “Wat betreft aardappelen neemt de efficiëntie van het landgebruik met een verbazingwekkende 86 procent per hectare toe”, benadrukt projectmanager Stephan Schindele van Fraunhofer ISE.

We kunnen ervan uitgaan dat de planten het beter hebben gedaan tijdens deze droge hittezomer van 2018 als gevolg van de beschaduwing onder de semitransparante zonnemodules.

Monitoren micro-klimatische omstandigheden

Naast de ontwikkeling van de teelt, opbrengst en opbrengstkwaliteit, verzamelden wetenschappers van de Universiteit van Hohenheim ook gegevens over de micro-klimatische omstandigheden onder en naast de APV-Resola modules. De fotosynthetische zonnestraling onder het APV-systeem was ongeveer 30 procent lager dan op het referentieoppervlak. Naast zonnestraling beïnvloedden de PV-panelen primair de neerslagverdeling en bodemtemperatuur. De bodemtemperatuur onder de panelen was in het voorjaar en de zomer lager dan die van het referentieoppervlak, terwijl de luchttemperatuur gelijk bleef.

In de hete en droge zomermaanden van 2018 was het bodemvocht in de tarwevoeding onder de PV-panelen hoger dan in het referentiegebied. In de wintermaanden en andere culturen was het echter lager, door de koude in de grond.

Betere cijfers ondanks extreem droge zomer

“We gaan ervan uit dat de planten beter bestand zijn tegen deze droge hittezomer van 2018 als gevolg van beschaduwing onder de semitransparante zonnepanelen”, zegt agronoom Andrea Ehmann. “Dit illustreert ook het potentieel van de APV-Resola toepassing voor droge regio’s, maar ook de behoefte aan verdere experimenten in andere klimatologische regio’s en met andere gewassoorten”, vult haar collega Axel Weselek aan.

Agro-fotovoltaïek brengt synergie-effecten met zich mee voor de landbouw


De zonnestraling in 2018, op 1319,7 kWh per vierkante meter, was 8,4 procent hoger dan het jaar ervoor. Dit verhoogde de productie van zonne-energie in het oogstjaar 2018 met 2 procent tot iets minder dan 250 MWh, wat overeenkwam met een “uitzonderlijk goed” rendement van 1.285,3 kWh per geïnstalleerde kilowattpiek. Met elektriciteitsopwekkingskosten per kilowattuur is elektriciteit uit een agro-fotovoltaïsche installatie nu al concurrerend met kleine PV-opdaksystemen, en onderzoekers rekenen ook op dalende kosten als gevolg van doorontwikkeling en opschaling.

Agro-fotovoltaïsche installatie nu al concurrerend met kleine PV-opdaksystemen.

Toename van elektriciteitsvraag

Als de zonne-energie direct op het terrein wordt gebruikt, zoals in het geval van de Heggelbach-boerengemeenschap, worden er extra inkomstenbronnen gecreëerd voor landbouwers door synergie-effecten. Het gebruik van elektrische voertuigen wint ook terrein in de landbouw, aangezien de fabrikanten van landbouwmachines Fendt en John Deere de afgelopen jaren de eerste volledig op batterijen werkende e-tractoren introduceerden.

“Als het beleid het toelaat, kan agro-fotovoltaïek het antwoord zijn op de bespreking van de tank of plaat, omdat technisch gezien boeren hun akkerland gelijktijdig kunnen voorzien van hun kernwerkzaamheden (voedselproductie) en door bij te dragen aan zonne-energie om de energietransitie meer ruimte te geven”, zegt Schindele.

Technologie biedt potentieel voor dorre gebieden

De resultaten van de hete zomer van 2018 toonden het enorme potentieel van agro-fotovoltaïsche cellen voor droge klimaten, waar gewassen en teelt kunnen profiteren van de beschaduwing door de PV-modules. De Fraunhofer ISE is al bezig met de overdracht van de technologie naar opkomende en ontwikkelingslanden en met nieuwe toepassingen in verschillende projecten. Een voorstudie door het het Staatsinstituut van Maharashtra, in India, suggereert bijvoorbeeld dat deze toepassing de schaduwwerking en lagere verdamping van tomaten en katoen de teelt tot 40 procent kan verhogen. “In dit specifieke geval verwachten we dat de regio de efficiëntie van het landgebruik bijna zal verdubbelen,” zegt Max Trommsdorff van Fraunhofer ISE, projectleider van de voorstudie.

In een project in het kader van het EU-programma Horizon 2020 onderzoeken de Fraunhofer-onderzoekers en hun partners in Algerije hoe de APV-systemen de waterhuishouding beïnvloeden. Naast verminderde verdamping en lagere temperaturen speelt regenwaterwinning met PV-modules daar ook een rol.

Het project APV-Resola wordt gefinancierd door het federale ministerie van Onderwijs en Onderzoek en FONA – Forschung für nachhaltige Entwicklung (onderzoek voor duurzame ontwikkeling). Het is een gezamenlijk project van Fraunhofer ISE, BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH, Elektrizitätswerke Schönau, Hofgemeinschaft Heggelbach, Karlsruhe Instituut voor Energie, Regionale alliantie Bodensee-Oberschwaben en de universiteit van Hohenheim. (bron foto: BayWa r.e.)

Voeg een windturbine toe aan uw energie-opwek

Voor de elektriciteit die nodig is tijdens de wintermaanden, is een privé windturbine bij een agrarisch bedrijf ideaal. Windturbines produceren in de winter de meeste elektriciteit waar zonnepanelen dit in de zomer doen. Samen maken ze de ideale combinatie om een agrarisch bedrijf het hele jaar door van elektriciteit te voorzien. Vooral in streken met voldoende wind is het opwekken van windenergie veel voordeliger dan het opslaan van zonne-energie in batterijen.

Bekijk al onze turbines en mogelijkheden


Wilt u weten wat de beste groene energie-oplossing is voor uw bedrijfsvoering?

Bent u nieuwsgierig hoe wij u kunnen helpen om uw energievoorziening ‘groener’, stabieler en goedkoper te maken? Vul het formulier in en wij maken een persoonlijk voorstel voor uw situatie.


Europe: A phenomenal start for wind energy in 2019

Mid-March 2019, the milestone of more than 100 billion kWh of generated wind power was reached in Europe. This milestone was never reached this early in the year. Pertaining to the same period in 2018, that was an increase of 15%. The distribution between Onshore / offshore was respectively 90 billion kWh (88.7%) and 11.5 billion kWh (11.3%). It is expected that 400 billion kWh of 2019 wind energy will be produced in Europe. With regard to the production of wind power in the first two and a half months of 2019, Germany is the leader with 35.7 billion kWh, thermostat (11.9 kWh kWh), UK (8.1 billion kWh), France (8.1 billion kWh) and Italy (5.9 billion kWh). In 2018, 2,645 billion kWh of electricity was used in Europe. Of this, 362 billion kWh was wind power, of which 309 billion kWh onshore and 53 billion offshore kWh.
Source: Windbranche.de


Power shortages in Dutch greenhouse horticulturists: Waiting another five years for a solution?


Dozens of greenhouse horticulture businesses suffer from power shortages in their greenhouses. The demand for electricity from greenhouse horticulturists has risen exponentially in recent years. This makes that Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) can’t always meet the demand.

For example, there are farmers who do have a connection, but don’t always receive sufficient electricity.


We have to pull the brake

The entrepreneurs increasingly hear a ‘no’ from DNOs. Problems arise mainly when they want to expand their business or make them more sustainable and replace gas powered components with electric ones. Greenhouse horticulture in the Netherlands is worried and wants the electricity network to be expanded as quickly as possible, but that’s not easy. According to ‘Glastuinbouw Nederland’, more than 50 entrepreneurs experience power difficulties throughout the country.

Greenhouses need electricity for lighting and always had good electricity, but DNOs say: “We have to pull the brake, we do not have enough capacity’. This means that they can’t make their businesses more sustainable right now. Climate control runs on gas fired utilities.  Farmers want to make the transition to electric heating, particularly because of the climate regulations (Paris Agreement red.). ‘It will be difficult to meet the targets, we can do nothing but wait!”

Higher capacity demand

Currently there are about 3000 greenhouse horticulture locations in the Netherlands. ‘Glastuinbouw Nederland’ does not have exact figures of new businesses, “but it will be more than a few dozen locations given the favourable economy”. An average greenhouse consumes as much electricity per year as about 400 households; approximately 1,600,000 kWh.

Distribution Network Operators have not been asleep

According to greenhouse grower Van Wijk; DNO’s from the Netherlands could have foreseen that the demand for electricity would increase. These certain locations in the province of Gelderland have never been designated as a development area for greenhouse horticulture.

This is confirmed by John Rocks, horticultural project manager of the province of Gelderland. He states that Alliander should have made the call “when it appeared that the plans to make the sector more sustainable are not feasible with the current electricity network”.

Alliander does not agree with that criticism. “It’s really not the case that we have been asleep, but this electricity grid was built about a hundred years ago,” said spokesperson Jelle Wils. “Originally, there was not much demand for electricity in the Bommelerwaard, this network was actually equipped with cables which are literally the thinnest in the country.”

It will take Alliander about three to five years to adjust the electricity grid. “We have to install additional cables, build distribution stations, and we have to follow procedures to change zoning plans, for example,” says Wils. “We are trying to predict developments, but future plans must first be concrete before we make a multi-million investment to adjust the infrastructure.”

Returning electricity surplus to the grid

Adapting the current infrastructure, that greenhouse growers ask for, requires a lot from the electricity grid. An additional problem is that more and more people in the Netherlands are installing solar panels on their roofs. The power that these produce is returned to the grid. But this grid is already overloaded.

Especially in the countryside, the return of electricity regularly blocks. The grid operators do not have sufficient capacity to transport electricity from the solar panels or wind turbines, but also to supply electricity to large-scale users such as the greenhouse horticulture sector. The capacity problems of greenhouse horticulturalists therefor lead to power shortages.

Fossil fuel-fired aggregates

Alliander is working on temporary solutions, for example by giving entrepreneurs a connection, but not with full capacity. The entrepreneurs do not sit still. Some have chosen to place aggregates (which are often gas powered) in order to have sufficient power security.

Greenhouse grower Van Wijk: “I now use gas to have enough electricity, but our government wants to get rid of gas.” Less gas through pipes means more electricity through cables, so something has to be done as quickly as possible. ”

Power grid of the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, Tennet is the national grid operator, it transports electricity from the power plant to the high-voltage grid. Organizations such as Enexis, Alliander and Stedin are the regional grid operators. They ensure that the electricity reaches the residents and companies via distribution stations.

Source: NOS.nl

An alternative solution

Renewable microgrids could be realized to keep all electricity locally so the already installed network will not be overcharged easily. In this way the grid is relieved from the high demands as well as the return of electricity. The combination of renewable energy sources could generate sufficient electricity for a whole region. Communities can become completely independent from energy generation, which means that they do no longer depend on the unreliable central grids. Local energy production requires that producers and  consumers treat each other neatly and let the common interest be primal to self-interest. This brings along many benefits to local communities. By generating all the energy in a renewable way, the costs of the, now often expensive price of fossil fuel-fired, generated electricity will drop significantly.

The advantage of these initiatives to generate local energy is that consumers become co-producers. Many people already install solar panels on their own roof and often there is still some space left to provide the neighbours with some clean electricity. When there is not enough space within urbanized areas, farmers or other land owners can also place wind turbines nearby.

Want to find out what solution is best fit for your scenario?

Are you curious whether this method can help you to make your energy supply ‘green’, more stable and cheaper? Just contact us, we would be happy to help you and to analyze which combination of energy sources suits your situation best.