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. We investigate how to reach these targets from a interdisciplinary perspective and through multiple approaches including energy systems modelling and low-carbon technology assessments.

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 and Materials Transition.

Top publications

  • Dalla Longa, F. and B.C.C. van der Zwaan, “Autarky Penalty versus System Cost Effects for Europe of Large-Scale Renewable Energy Imports from North Africa”, Energy Strategy Reviews, 51, 2024, 101289.
  • Dekker, M.M., V. Daioglou, R. Pietzcker, R. Rodrigues, H.-S. de Boer, F. Dalla Longa, L. Drouet, J. Emmerling, A. Fattahi, Th. Fotiou, P. Fragkos, O. Fricko, E. Gusheva, M. Harmsen, D. Huppmann, M. Kannavou, V. Krey, F. Lombardi, G. Luderer, S. Pfenninger, I Tsiropoulos, B. Zakeri, B. van der Zwaan, W. Usher, D. van Vuuren, “Identifying energy model fingerprints in mitigation scenarios”, Nature Energy, 8, 2023, 1395-1404.
  • Ciotta, M., C. Tassinari, L.G.L. Zacharias, B.C.C. van der Zwaan, D. Peyerl, “Hydrogen storage in depleted offshore gas fields in Brazil: potential and implications for energy security”, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 48, 2023, 39967-39980.
  • McGovern, L., E. Alarcon-Llado, E.C. Garnett, B. Ehrler, B. van der Zwaan, “Perovskite Solar Modules for the Residential Sector”, ACS Energy Letters, 8, 2023, 4862-4866.
  • Fragkos, P., F. Dalla Longa, E. Zisarou, B.C.C. van der Zwaan, A. Giannousakis, A. Fattahi, “Navigating and diagnosing model-based decarbonization and energy efficiency scenarios with the PROMETHEUS and TIAM-ECN models”, Energies, 16, 2023, 6421.
  • Nogueira, L.P.P., F. Dalla Longa, L. Aleluia Reis, L. Drouet; Z. Vrontisi; K. Fragkiadakis, E. Panos; B.C.C. van der Zwaan, “A multi-model framework to assess the role of R&D towards a decarbonized energy system”, Climatic Change, 176:82, 2023, 1-22.


Motion Building
Radarweg 60
1043 NT Amsterdam

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