The Dutch government is considering selling the German subsidiary of the state-owned company TenneT. This was announced by the NRC. If the deal goes through, this could be the largest sale ever by a state-owned company. The value is estimated at over 20 billion euros.
It is not yet known how the negotiations are progressing, says climate and energy journalist Mark Beekhuis. “The negotiations are secret, but TenneT COO Maarten Abbenhuis hints that talks are ongoing.” According to Beekhuis, it is clear that the initiative for the sale lies with Germany: ‘Due to the war in Ukraine, Germany has noticed that things can get out of hand in the field of energy. That’s why they want to buy that part of TenneT.’
Not everyone is keen on the idea of the Netherlands giving up TenneT’s German subsidiary. CDA member of parliament Henri Bontenbal is not immediately enthusiastic. ‘He reminds me of the concept of ‘table silver’. So I’m still not convinced,’ says Bontenbal. According to the deputy, there are enough advantages of maintaining state participation: ‘It ensures progress in the field of offshore wind energy and there is also a return on it. So it definitely benefits the Netherlands.’
The main reason given for the sale is the investment in sustainability. The Netherlands has lost billions of euros. That money can also be used for investments in Germany, so it doesn’t always go to the Netherlands. Bontenbal therefore agrees that investments must remain in balance. “It’s a state holding, so I understand that the Netherlands wants the investments to be made in the Netherlands and for the control over their energy system to be positive.”
TenneT had previously warned that the Netherlands could face energy shortages in the future. This has to do with Dutch coal-fired power plants due to shut down in 2030. Bontenbal acknowledges that closing those coal-fired power plants is part of the problem. As a result, dependence on uncontrollable energy sources, such as the sun and wind, is on the rise.
In order to maintain the security of energy supply, the CDA deputy advocates, for example, converting those coal-fired power plants to generate energy in a different way. According to TenneT COO Maarten Abbenhuis, the idea of converting power plants is interesting and sensible, but again the security of supply is not obvious.
From orchestra to jazz combination
That is why Bontenbal is of the opinion that an intelligent interaction should be created between energy generation and its use. The deputy sees great potential in making electricity consumption more flexible, but he also thinks that the whole world of energy will look different in the future. ‘In the past there was a kind of orchestra, where the conductor followed. In that case, the conductor was the power manager. The new energy system will be more of a jazzy mix, with demand and production interacting differently. Production will therefore play a different role.’
Andrew Dwight is an author and economy journalist who writes for 24 News Globe. He has a deep understanding of financial markets and a passion for analyzing economic trends and news. With a talent for breaking down complex economic concepts into easily understandable terms, Andrew has become a respected voice in the field of economics journalism.