How we make sure you always charge green at Fastned

The electricity used to charge at our stations is 100% from renewable sources. That means it comes from renewable sources. The roofs of our stations consist of solar panels that generate electricity, and we also use locally generated electricity from wind and solar farms as much as possible.

The electricity used to charge at our stations is 100% from renewable sources. That means it comes from renewable sources. The roofs of our stations consist of solar panels that generate electricity, and we also use locally generated electricity from wind and solar farms as much as possible. How do we ensure that visitors at our stations always charge with electricity from renewable sources at a stable price? For this, we speak to Roland van der Put, the energy sourcing manager at Fastned responsible for purchasing electricity. 

How did you get into this role, Roland?
I joined Fastned in August 2014. At the time, we had about ten fast charging stations in the Netherlands. We were still in the early stages of the transition to electric driving. Fastned was still a start-up, which meant we were doing many things at once with a small team. What always came first was our goal: more stations and more charging sessions to accelerate the transition to electric driving. Back then, I was mainly concerned with the operational side of the organization and technology. Back then, we installed 50 kW chargers at our stations. Ten years later, we are installing 400 kW chargers. In that period, the number of stations, customers, and volume has increased enormously. Since last year, I have been focusing on electricity procurement. Something that has become an important issue since the 2022 energy crisis. 

How exactly does electricity procurement work?
Purchasing electricity is done on the energy market. Roughly speaking, this can be done in two different ways. You can buy electricity at a fixed price for, say, a year. You then know exactly what you will pay for the electricity you buy and use for a year. Alternatively, you can buy electricity at the market price on the energy market the next day. The latter is also called the day-ahead market or spot market. This is because electricity prices fluctuate by the day and even by the hour. This depends on how much electricity is in supply and how much demand there is for it. Often, average prices on the day-ahead market are lower than if you buy at a fixed price.

Does this mean you are trading on the energy market every day?
Purchasing the electricity is done by the energy suppliers we cooperate with. As a household signs a contract with an energy supplier, so do we. The energy suppliers predict how much we need per day and then buy that quantity on the energy market. They have the right systems to do this properly and a good insight into what we consume every moment of the day. We work with the same energy supplier for each country as much as possible. An independent third party or the grid operator accurately determines how much electricity we consume per location. In this process, my job is to help them make the forecasts, check the quantities invoiced, and follow up on any problems. 

In February 2024, we announced our first Corporate Power Purchase Agreement. What exactly does this entail?
A Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (CPPA) is a third way to purchase electricity. It means that as a customer (Fastned), you enter into a contract directly with a party that generates the electricity. In February 2024, we entered into such a CPPA with GLP—a large real estate developer in the logistics sector. On the roof of their distribution center in Zevenaar (Gelderland) are sixteen football fields of solar panels, making it one of the largest solar roofs in Europe. Every year, we purchase 15 GWh of electricity here, which is about the amount used by 6,000 households. 

The big advantage is that we know exactly where this electricity comes from, that it is 100% from renewable sources, and that we buy it for a fixed price in the coming years. That means we can have more stable prices for our customers at the fast-charging stations, and GLP knows what they will earn, allowing them to invest in building new solar parks, for example. This is how we work together to make the Netherlands more sustainable. 

At which stations exactly is this electricity used?
The electricity generated by the solar panels is first supplied to the electricity grid. Our energy supplier also manages the connection to the solar farm. This means that the energy supplier can supply the generated electricity directly to our stations in the Netherlands.

At Fastned stations, 100% of electricity is supplied from renewable sources everywhere. It is also called green electricity. What exactly do you mean by that?
The electricity that powers our stations comes from renewable sources in the country where it operates. This means it is generated by solar panels, wind turbines, and, to some extent, hydropower. Our mission is to accelerate the transition to electric driving to help fight climate change. The electricity you charge with us must then be sustainable.

How can Fastned guarantee that the electricity purchased through the grid comes 100% from renewable sources?
The electricity grid collects electricity generated from both renewable and non-renewable sources. A European system based on guarantees of origin (GOs) guarantees that the electricity we buy comes from renewable sources. 

As a producer of electricity from renewable sources, you can claim a Guarantee of Origin for every 1,000 kWh you supply to the electricity grid—a certificate with which you can prove that this quantity was actually delivered to the electricity grid. As a producer, you can then sell this certificate to an electricity buyer, such as Fastned. 

The energy suppliers Fastned works with must then guarantee that there is a Guarantee of Origin for every 1,000 kWh of electricity we purchase from them. This way, we can be sure that the amount of renewable electricity we buy has come onto the grid from a producer. 

So is this renewable electricity more expensive than 'grey' electricity?
Buying renewable electricity is more expensive. This is because you also need Guarantees of Origin, which cost money. The price for Guarantees of Origin depends on supply and demand. The price of these Guarantees of Origin varies from country to country and from day to day. At Fastned, it is important that we can guarantee that our customers are charging electricity from renewable sources at our stations. We do not deviate from that. 

Will Fastned generate this electricity in the future with its own wind turbines and solar panels?
There are already solar panels on the roofs of our stations that we use to generate a small amount of our electricity. Entering into our first Corporate Power Purchase Agreement is our first long-term partnership with a producer of renewable electricity. There are expected to be more collaborations of this kind, allowing us to know even better where the electricity we offer at our stations comes from. In addition, it helps us keep prices stable despite daily and hourly fluctuations. Of course, our role may change, but we focus on collaborating with renewable electricity producers for now.