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The construction industry is making significant strides towards electrification, which is aiming for emission-free building sites as part of a broader effort to adopt sustainable designs, materials, and logistics practices.

Electrification not only helps the construction industry meet climate goals but it also improves the health of workers and surrounding communities by eliminating diesel emissions. Moreover, the nitrogen crisis in the Netherlands has provided additional motivation for construction companies to expedite the transition to cleaner energy sources for their machinery.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of electrifying your construction site, from getting a small grid connection to finding charging infrastructure close by.

Step 1: Get a small grid connection

For this, we turn to the grid operators. Grid operators are tasked with managing the electricity grid and ensuring sufficient power supply to meet demand. Temporary grid connections are installed by them. If the requested connection is too large, waiting time will increase.

However, grid operators may face multiple challenges, including space constraints, regulations, as well as a shortage of technical personnel which can result in delays in the installation of temporary and permanent grid adjustments. Local grid operators, such as municipalities, also play a critical role in providing low-capacity connections for markets, events, and lighting, among other applications. 

In some areas in the Netherlands, Skoon’s marketplace already enables access to smaller grid connections. This is done in collaboration with Stroomkaart.nl. This way, you don’t have to wait for the grid operator’s process.

Step 2: Combine the small grid connection with a mobile battery, solar panels, and a hydrogen generator

Once you have a small grid connection, you can combine it with a mobile battery, a set of solar panels, and a hydrogen generator. The grid connection will supply the needed energy 24/7. The solar panels charge during the day and, if needed, are supported by a hydrogen generator. The battery then stores the energy so it can be used whenever it’s needed, even when the peak power demand is very high.

This structure also allows you to scale the energy setup up and down, based on the activities throughout the project’s timeline, avoiding unnecessarily high investments in energy infrastructure that is only needed for a short amount of time. Flexibility that saves costs as well as space on your site and is ultimately the most sustainable option to power your construction site.

Step 3: Find charging infrastructure close by

The final step is to find charging infrastructure close by to charge large mobile machines or mobile battery containers, in case the infrastructure on site doesn’t allow this. Companies like WattHub provide charging infrastructure for electric construction equipment, focussing on sustainable solutions for transportation and logistics.

WattHub uses a unique approach to charging with reserved time slots and a focus on local, renewable energy. The company received a €1 million subsidy from the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management’s Clean and Emission-Free Construction Equipment Scheme, which will lead towards building a charging plaza and research into the use of electric construction equipment.

In conclusion, electrification is a critical component of the construction sector’s efforts to adopt sustainable practices and meet climate goals. Grid operators play a crucial role in facilitating this transition by ensuring small grid connections, managing the electricity grid, and working with stakeholders throughout the chain process. Combining this with batteries and other energy systems on location and charging hubs nearby, completes the picture. With the right investments, technologies, and partnerships, we can power construction sites with clean, reliable, and sustainable energy.

FAQs:

Why is electrification important for the construction industry?

Electrification is important for the construction industry because it helps reducing the sector’s environmental impact by lowering carbon emissions and pollution levels.

What are the benefits of electrification for construction sites?

Electrification has several benefits for construction sites, including reducing air pollution, improving worker health, and meeting climate goals.

How can I get a small grid connection for my construction site?

To get a small grid connection for your construction site, contact your local grid operator using mijnaansluiting.nl. You can also go to Skoon’s marketplace and open the map view, this is where you can find small grid connections for specific areas in the Netherlands.

What types of clean energy sources can be used for electrification?

Clean energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydrogen can be used for electrification. Grid connections are also a cheap alternative for slowly charging the battery systems 24 hours per day.

Are there any incentives for adopting electrification in the construction industry?

Yes, there are incentives for adopting electrification in the construction industry, such as subsidies and tax credits for investing in renewable energy sources and energy-efficient equipment.

If there are anymore open questions or point you want to discuss, feel free to contact us!