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

223 resultaten, getoond 1 t/m 5

Group of households with fuel cars vulnerable in transition to sustainable mobility

13 February 2024
Between 113 and 270 thousand households in the Netherlands have low income and high fuel costs. Most of these are in medium-sized cities.

Working with residents to map wood smoke for targeted policy measures

1 February 2024

Real-world methane emissions from LNG-fueled ships are higher than current regulations assume

25 January 2024

TNO develops method to produce biocarbon

24 January 2024

Cabauw: the atmospheric supersite improving our understanding of air and climate

24 January 2024