Local Energy Systems
The energy transition is showing a shift from one large national energy system to local energy systems in villages, neighbourhoods and business parks. During this process, each local system requires its own technical and social solutions. By developing best practices, New Energy Coalition contributes to sustainable, reliable and affordable local energy systems.
One of the hallmarks of the energy transition is that sustainable energy is often generated locally, close to where the energy is also used. The Dutch government’s policy of creating gas-free neighbourhoods accelerates the development of local energy systems. This development poses challenges. For example, we need to curb energy demand and align it with the fluctuating supply of energy from renewable sources. Furthermore, each local energy system requires its own technical solutions, its own system with elements such as heat pumps, a village wind turbine, solar panels or a heat network. In addition, local energy systems have many stakeholders, among whom the costs and profits as well as advantages and disadvantages must be shared fairly. The research and innovation agenda that we are developing with our partners focuses on these challenges. Based on this agenda, we form consortia, look for financing opportunities and launch projects, both for research and innovation and for market introduction and education.
The energy transition follows fashion. Sometimes district heating or green gas is the Holy Grail, and sometimes it’s heat pumps or hydrogen. The strength of New Energy Coalition is our knowledge of the energy system as a whole and of all its individual components. This ensures that we don’t go along with fads, but choose wisely from all the different options for each situation.- Mark de la Vieter
As part of the ‘Local energy systems’ theme, we devote a great deal of energy to the development of best practices. In this way, we learn from the technology in practice and from the social aspects. Among other things, we are involved in various Smart City projects, in which we work with partners to develop the local energy system of the future in Groningen and Alkmaar. In addition, we are helping to build a smart grid on a Groningen business park and we are contributing ideas to the village of Oudeschip about the integration of hydrogen in their local energy supply. Through these projects, and others, we inspire others to work on the energy transition as well.