Bob van der Zwaan

Bob van der Zwaan

Principal Scientist at TNO and Professor at the University of Amsterdam on Sustainable Energy Technology
Bob van der Zwaan

One of mankind’s largest challenges during the 21st century is to meet the target of the Paris Agreement by limiting the atmospheric temperature increase to well below 2˚C. To achieve this goal our energy system needs to be fundamentally transformed and undergo a transition yielding carbon neutrality by 2050, and negative CO2 emissions after 2050.

Professorship chair

Sustainable Energy Technology (University of Amsterdam).

Research area

The purpose of my work is to research the energy transition in an integrated manner, since carbon-neutrality can only be realized by analyzing the energy-climate conundrum from a multidisciplinary perspective. Employing both natural and social sciences, as well as expertise from international affairs and policy studies, I perform techno-economic research for low-carbon energy options as well as energy systems in which multiple technologies fit together to deliver affordable, clean, safe and secure energy services.

The intricacies of the energy transition and greenhouse gas emission reductions require approaches in which also complexity plays a leading role, and methods that match short-run with long-term perspectives, as well as studies that cross state boundaries and stretch beyond conventional renewable energy technology.

All units at TNO possess linkages to energy-climate issues. It is my ambition to contribute to solving the energy-climate challenge through applied scientific studies, and create synergies between research groups at TNO, both within and beyond the unit Energy Transition.

Top publications

  • Taminiau, F.L. and B.C.C. van der Zwaan, “The Physical Potential for Dutch Offshore Wind Energy”, Journal of Energy and Power Technology, 4, 4, 2022, 2204032.
  • van Hove, W., F. Dalla Longa, B.C.C. van der Zwaan, “Identifying Predictors for Energy Poverty in Europe Using Machine Learning”, Energy & Buildings, 264, 2022, 112064.
  • Scheepers, M., S. Gamboa Palacios, E. Jegu, L.P. Nogueira, L. Rutten, J. van Stralen, K. Smekens, K. West, B.C.C. van der Zwaan, “Towards a Climate-Neutral Energy System in the Netherlands”, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 158, 2022, 112097.


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