Energy and Materials Transition

Climate change, increasing resource scarcity, and environmental issues make the sustainability of our society one of the biggest challenges for the coming decades. To actually achieve the climate and sustainability goals, the transformation of the energy supply and resource use must and can be accelerated. This transformation also presents huge opportunities. Consider, for example, exporting crucial technologies and addressing key environmental issues such as reducing waste, air pollution, and resource depletion.

Accelerating the energy transition and promoting the circular economy

As a knowledge partner and driver of innovation, we are ready to accelerate the energy and materials transition, so that the Netherlands will be fully circular and climate neutral by 2050. Our aim is to contribute actively to a climate-resilient, sustainable, and circular society through technical knowledge and policy recommendations, thereby strengthening the competitiveness of Dutch industry.

We focus on six critical areas:

Renewable energy

Developing technologies to extract energy from solar and wind more cheaply and effectively, making smart use of the scarce space available in the Netherlands.

Carbon-neutral industry

Developing ground-breaking innovations and system innovations to make energy-intensive industry carbon-neutral and increase the export potential of the Netherlands. Among other things, we focus on the industrial energy supply, carbon capture and reuse, hydrogen production and use, electrification of production processes, sustainable fuels and chemicals, and onshore and offshore energy infrastructure.

Circular economy

Developing technologies for recycling plastics, and processes for the sustainable design of materials. We also look at the design of the circular value chain, investigating the environmental impact of products and processes, in conjunction with the societal and economic impact.

Climate and air quality

Developing methods to measure and monitor particulate matter, nitrogen, and greenhouse gases. In doing so, we identify the sources and consequences of emissions, enabling companies and public authorities to take effective action.

Sustainable subsurface

With our Geological Survey of the Netherlands, we are in a unique position in terms of comprehensive knowledge of the subsurface. This enables us to provide valuable insights, data, analyses, and advice in this area. We are also working on underground energy and carbon storage techniques, and geothermal energy for heating greenhouses and homes.

System transition

Besides technological solutions, economic consequences and social aspects play at least as big a role in the energy and materials transition. We are committed to transparent policy and government direction, responsible entrepreneurship and strengthening citizen participation, to actively contribute individually or collectively to sustainable living, living and working in 2050.

Unique knowledge and facilities, recognised internationally

TNO is internationally recognised as a leading and independent centre for applied energy and materials research and the knowledge centre for the subsurface and for quantifying gas emissions. We take an agenda-setting, initiating, and supporting role in the energy and materials transition. In this role, we work intensively with entrepreneurs, scientists, and policymakers, both nationally and internationally.

To achieve our goals, we use state-of-the-art research facilities and have extensive research infrastructure and facilities in various locations, bridging the gap between fundamental research and practical implementation.

Energy and materials transition

Since 15 November 2022, the Energy and Materials Transition unit has been created. This unit is an amalgamation of the units Energy Transition and Circular Economy.


Get inspired

198 resultaten, getoond 1 t/m 5

New initiative commits to further strengthen European leadership in wind energy

22 September 2023

Last week, nine key research organisations and universities, all members of EERA JP Wind, signed a cooperative agreement to establish a European Centre of Excellence (EuCoE) on wind energy.

TNO studies on geothermal energy potential find their way to art gallery in Turin

21 September 2023

You’re working at TNO on long-term scenarios for the energy system to meet global climate targets by 2050 and suddenly you receive an email from a famous Italian photographer. ‘Can our visual designer turn this into something beautiful?’

Supporting municipalities to achieve heat transition

13 September 2023

Local governments, especially municipalities, play a crucial role in the heat transition. Over 90 per cent of homes in the Netherlands are currently heated using fossil fuel, mainly natural gas. Find out how TNO supports municipalities with knowledge, experience and tools for sustainable heat sources like geothermal.

Wind turbine inspections with autonomous drones and digital twin modelling

12 September 2023

Wind turbine blade inspections can be faster, cheaper and safer. TNO and SpectX are combining their expertise areas on a new one-year project known as the IBIS project (Increased Blade Inspection Safety).

Producing renewable DME using renewable energy and CO2

7 September 2023

The POWERED (Production Of Wind Energy And Other Renewable Energy Based DME) project focuses on the development of Sorption Enhanced DME Synthesis (SEDMES), a technology that produces renewable and recycled carbon DME as an alternative to fossil DME and LPG.