Sustainable Energy: innovation for energy efficiency

This is a highly complex transition. Currently, there are different autonomous developments taking place, each at its own tempo and, in part, interdependently. We are seeing the emergence of intermittent sources like wind and solar energy. In a large-scale rollout there will be a significant increase in the need for flexibility and rapid-start reserve capacity to achieve a balance, unless consumers respond with alertness to (a surplus of) the supply. There are also developments in the field of local energy generation and use. To facilitate this development the distribution grid must be differently designed as a bi-directional system in which users not only acquire but can also resupply energy. The speed at which these developments (HRe boilers, PV, electric transport, heat pumps) in and to the distribution grid are occurring is still uncertain.

Intelligent energy networks (smartgrids)

TNO works with commercial players and the government to develop and integrate knowledge of intelligent energy networks. These are energy infrastructures (for electricity, gas, heating, cooling) that can be intelligently supplemented to all network components through a measurement infrastructure and control applications. Based on a multi-stakeholder business model in which major and minor consumers and producers in the network can be integrated, the energy supply will become reliable, sustainable and efficient. In 2050 those networks will have the same supply security as fossil fuels, especially if the share of sustainable decentralised energy generation (like solar and wind energy, greengas, biogas and syngas) increases. Smart Grids are intelligent energy networks that enable the use of renewable, locally generated energy to be optimised and peak loads to be prevented or reduced.

Today's energy infrastructure is increasingly being used in a different way than that for which it was originally designed. In addition, the aspects of 'time' and 'amount of energy supply' (by renewable energy generators like wind or sun) are not easy to control. Finally, if developments like sustainable transport (such as the electric car) or sustainable heating (by heat pumps) become widespread, peak loads may occur and cause problems in the energy infrastructure.

Information and contact

For more information on the role of energy-efficiency in the energy transition, and TNO's research on this we kindly invite you to contact us.

Based on eight innovation programmes, TNO Energy Transition started in April 2018 as the new centre of excellence for energy issues. The development of the eight programmes is in full swing and the details of these new innovation programmes will be online on the new TNO Energy Transition website at TNO.NL from 1 July. Until then, the innovation programmes (now roadmaps) and associated projects will remain online unmodified.

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