As Deputy Director of NOM, Ed van de Beek is involved, among other things, with development and innovation in the field of Energy and ICT. 'We are all aware that, for the next 20 years, we will still be dependent on fossil fuels such as gas. We want to use them as efficiently as possible.' Ed van de Beek explains how NOM is working with TNO in the Smart Power System (SPS) development programme.
Within this programme, TNO is responsible for administrative processes (e.g. new billing processes) and ICT, in particular telecommunications. The value of the SPS programme is that it demonstrates very clearly how ICT can facilitate energy innovations. Within the energy sector, there is a strong focus on innovation. One of the drivers of that process is the development of decentral power generators such as wind turbines, solar cells and the latest advance in heating boilers, namely high-efficiency E-boilers (E stands for electricity).
The latter technology will gradually replace existing high-efficiency boiler technology. The unique feature of this new type of boiler is that it can generate electricity as a 'by-product' of heat generation for hot water and heating. The next step would be to use ICT applications to connect several high-efficiency E-boilers in order to create a 'Virtual Power Plant'. This network of E-boilers could also store sustainable forms of energy such as wind power and solar power. Using such boilers (and other decentral electricity generating systems), which can be controlled remotely and on a large scale, will gradually help to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and other energy sources. The individual boilers will be used not only for heating and electricity in homes, but will also enable energy companies to supply power to the national grid. All the developments described above are part of the Smart Power System programme.
The following parties are currently involved in the SPS programme: Continuon, ECN, Eneco Netbeheer BV, Energy Valley, Essent Netwerk B.V., Gasunie Engineering & Technology, GasTerra, ICT Automatisering, KEMA, N.V. NOM, TietoEnator and TNO.