ROTTERDAM, 19 June 2023 – As solar energy becomes increasingly popular, the balance of the power grid in Rotterdam is shifting. Stedin, the grid operator, is launching a campaign this week to educate the public about efficient energy use, starting with the 'Zonwassen' initiative (Solar washing).
Raising awareness on energy balance
The campaign aims to encourage the public to use electricity following the rhythm of nature, i.e., during daylight hours. With over 2 million households equipped with solar panels, energy production during sunny periods is plentiful. However, if this energy is not immediately used, it is largely wasted as it cannot be stored efficiently. Excessive energy use during peak hours could also cause disruptions in the power grid.
Zonnerette: a concept laundry powered by solar energy
Research conducted by Stedin showed that over 90% of people without solar panels are unaware that they could also utilise solar energy produced by others, thus reducing their energy consumption. High energy consumption during peak hours can cause overloads and potential disruptions. To launch the campaign and demonstrate the concept, Stedin is opening the 'Zonnerette' (Solar Laundromat), a pop-up laundromat in Rotterdam, where people can do their laundry for free, provided there is enough solar energy.
Changing energy consumption habits
The misconception that electricity is necessarily cheaper at night still exists among a third of the Dutch people. Stedin's campaign seeks to rectify this by enlightening people, both with and without solar panels, about the benefits of using high-consumption electrical appliances during sunny periods.
David Peters, Chief Transition Officer at Stedin, stated, “We have been used to using electricity with off-peak tariffs for devices that require a lot of power. However, with sustainably generated power via solar panels or wind turbines, this is no longer applicable. This energy should be used when it is widely available. The rhythm of nature assists in this regard.”