“By far the biggest challenge worldwide during the next few decades is the transition from a fossil-fuel based energy system to sustainable alternatives. Over the coming period the focus will be on hybrid energy systems, whereby we will be combining different fossil and sustainable sources. TNO wants to employ innovations, both technical and non-technical, to accelerate the transition to a fully sustainable energy supply,” says Mart van Bracht, managing director Energy.
Industry and government ask us to deliver the technology and knowledge for this. For many years we have been researching sustainable and, on route to this, hybrid energy systems. In our energy vision of 2030, published in September 2016 as ‘Faster towards a sustainable energy supply’, we reveal how hybrid systems can act as a link to a sustainable future. We indicate the opportunities there are for our country and the action that is necessary to achieve all of the climate targets that have been agreed nationally, within the EU and internationally for the years 2020, 2030 and 2050.
The Netherlands in a strong position
Our country has a number of strengths that enable us to play a significant role in the energy transition. “Like our strategic geographical position, high-grade infrastructure, strong maritime, offshore and chemical sectors, longstanding knowledge and experience of natural gas, a tradition of cross-domain collaboration,” Mart van Bracht explains. “The role of the Netherlands here is mainly one of transport, conversion and trade of sustainable energy. There are also considerable opportunities in the laying, management and maintenance of a large-scale energy infrastructure in the North Sea. We must use our strong position in fossil resources for the technology and infrastructure of sustainable applications and thus the acceleration of the energy transition.”
TNO has established eight targets for the coming period:
- a built environment that produces energy
- electrification of the process industry
- innovations for sustainable and clean road and water transport
- the North Sea as an incubator for sustainable offshore energy
- the integration of current energy systems into a reliable and affordable whole
- the subsurface as a source (geothermal energy) and buffer (CSS) of sustainable energy
- the use of gas to support the energy transition
- social innovation: law and legislation, innovative governance, new forms of collaboration and business models
Collaboration is crucial
“Collaboration, national and international, across domains, between knowledge organisations, industry and government, is crucial to enable the energy transition to succeed. As TNO we will support innovations through our labs as well as in practice through field labs and living labs. This will all help accelerate the intended transition,” is Mart van Bracht’s reassuring conclusion.
To find out more about our role in the energy transition contact us.