At this point in time, the Netherlands does not have the infrastructure to support an entirely sustainable energy supply. How big an alteration are we facing? TNO is working with partners on innovative methods to make our energy grids robust for the future.

Want more information about our work on future-proof energy grids?

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Make heat grids suitable for security of energy supply

Energy grids play a crucial role in the security of supply of the energy system. But our grids for the transport of electricity, gas and heat are not yet ready for a fully sustainable energy supply. For example, the electricity grid is running up against limits, the gas grid must be made suitable for large quantities of hydrogen and green gas, and the future heat grids must be made suitable for multiple heat suppliers.

Energy grids are about achieving a good balance between sufficient capacity, flexibility and societal costs. In order to be able to create this balance, TNO provides technologies to make grids intelligent as well as expertise in terms of calculation models, future scenarios, and market and business cases.

These are important for grid operators, the authorities, energy producers and suppliers, and end users so that power grids can be operated more efficiently and so that operators are supported in making the optimum investment decisions.

Intelligent energy grids

The energy system of the future will have a wide variety of supply to meet the energy demand at any time irrespective of fluctuations in the sun and wind. TNO is developing intelligent grids and Smart Multi Commodity Grids that connect electrons, molecules and heat, as well as sustainable sources, conversions, storage and transport to end users. ICT and artificial intelligence (AI), of which TNO has a great deal of expertise, play a major role in the design of these grids.

TNO is also developing technology to make large-scale use of the energy flexibility from electric cars, heat pumps and industrial processes to prevent congestion in the electricity grid. As a result, investments in grid reinforcement can be postponed or even avoided.

Calculation models

TNO has a suite of calculation models that can be used for calculating the costs of multi-commodity energy systems and thereby gaining insight into the operation of the future energy system. For example, insight into the effect of mixing hydrogen and biogas in the existing gas grid, a techno-economically optimal neighbourhood approach or the feasibility of a hydrogen grid in a port area.

Future visions and scenarios

Parties are faced with the question of what the energy grids should look like in the long term. TNO provides the knowledge to enable informed choices to be made. We help develop future visions and scenarios, make analyses and provide advice. We do this for Regional Energy Strategies (RES), municipalities, the national government, the European Commission, grid operators and industry. For several provinces we are conducting system studies with our partners to provide a comprehensive picture of the desired energy infrastructure between now and 2050.


ReFLEX is a software solution that enables the energy supplier of the future to create a powerful Virtual Power Plant (VPP). Because in addition to a few large power plants for generation and supply by energy companies, there will be new suppliers and intermediaries. Moreover, the number of heat pumps, electric cars and home batteries for the storage of sustainably generated electricity is growing. These can also be used to absorb peaks in supply and demand. This requires a system that is able to organise flexibility of supply and demand to the utmost: ReFLEX.


European cities have historic centers with a lot of cultural heritage that are well worth transforming into sustainable, smart areas. TNO plays a prominent role in the European project H2020 POCITYF to achieve this goal.

Our work

GO-e consortium investigates energy flexibility in built environment

The newly established Consortium GO-e (Built Environment Electrification) is investigating whether smart flexibility services can offer an alternative for strengthening the electricity grid in the built... Read more

Towards a reliable, affordable and fair energy system after the energy transition

Dutch history is sometimes described as a struggle against the elements, but is actually connected with the elements. And an alliance of Dutch people with each other. Working together, using elements... Read more
Our work

Sector coupling: the engine of a CO2-free society

Not all sectors are as quick in switching over to sustainable energy. Especially industry, the built environment, mobility and agriculture are slow starters. For industry, heavily reliant on fossil resources,... Read more
Our work

The Netherlands pre-eminently suitable for conversion and energy storage

The great advantage of fossil fuels is that they provide a constant supply of energy. The supply from renewable sources, however, fluctuates strongly. To complete the energy transition, we need to balance... Read more
Our work

Cooperating on tomorrow’s energy markets

We cannot influence the weather, not now, nor in 2050. The same largely applies to the supply of wind and solar electricity. This has far-reaching consequences for the way in which we trade in electricity.... Read more
Our work

Energy storage platform: working on energy storage after 2030

In the current largely fossil energy supply, the Netherlands has large reserves of oil and gas as a buffer against unexpected events. But after 2030 a large part of our energy will come from offshore... Read more
Our work

A fair system without energy poverty for all of us

The success of the transition to sustainable energy depends on the level of support that can be created in society. We are, therefore, not only on the brink of a technological but also social turnaround.... Read more
Our work

Scenarios for a climate-neutral energy system

Our country must have a climate-neutral energy system by 2050. The question is whether we can achieve that goal without radically reforming the economy or taking other sweeping measures. An energy supply... Read more