The successful development of the area is more than just a future-proof power system that can meet the needs of heat and cold. Low housing costs for end-users, security of supply and affordability of project partners who stick to their necks are important pillars of project completion. These ideas came to the fore during the Eneco Heating & Cooling event. Tom Jessen, known from RTL and BNR Nieuwsradio, among others, provided depth and sharpening.
Heat Director Manga Teri of Eneco kicked off the second edition of the event, this time around the development of the region. An essential topic to complete in order to accelerate and exceed the goals of the Paris climate agreement: “In November we already presented the One Planet Plan. As Eneco, we want to be climate neutral by 2035 and we are working hard on it, because there is still something to be done to make it happen. “. For example, energy projects must be designed and organized in the right way.
Arjen Ketting, Architect at MVRDV and BREEAM-NL Expert, was able to tell more about this. Show how the worldwide architectural firm works with challenging design tasks. As in Luxembourg, which consumes a double footprint in energy and materials. We have considered how we can improve this, for example in the areas of urban planning, mobility, nature and behavior change. We’ve developed a math tool where you can press several buttons and see the impact of your decisions on your sustainability ambitions. If you choose a more compact city, you will have less commuting to move around. And more nature can mean that less land is available for residential or commercial construction.”
A mixture of possibilities and layers of sustainability
A single approach to the different starting points has proven insufficient to achieve climate goals. It was necessary to combine different options and layers of sustainability: for example, by combining nature with livestock and linking several layers of nature with urbanization, the optimum level appears. “For this, all kinds of initiatives from the market must be continuously stimulated and supported,” Chen explains. “Only through this approach can the footprint be significantly reduced and climate goals achieved.” Thus the plan of attack was clearly defined, but the real challenge lay in the organization of measures and approach. We presented the idea to the Luxembourg Ministry of Economic Affairs. They point out that the idea is correct, but they don’t know where to begin. They can’t find the initial energy to start. “
So where’s the key, to giving a flying start to make an area more sustainable? “Give end-users and energy consumers the opportunity to realize their dreams themselves,” says Ketting, who conjures on-screen images of an evolution in Oosterwolde, Friesland. For the development, we chose to make the residents themselves responsible. To generate sustainable energy, which you can provide individually or with your neighbors, for example, but also for infrastructure. This creates a high degree of independence and this naturally brings with it challenges. The golden rule is that every contract is issued with all the jobs in the area. This ensures a sustainable foundation.” This development is compared to a more traditional approach in which the frameworks are more straightforward: Hyde Park in Hoofdorp. “This is a mixture of functions such as offices and homes. It is an area that many ancient connections passed through. We’re going to make sure this becomes a dynamic place, breaking down the blocks into measurable units. With a lively raised base and optimal sunlight.” He advises: “Make sure you are operating on a scale where you have enough mass to be sustainable, but small enough for stakeholders to understand. Also think carefully about how to make your area smart and ready for future developments.”
From tube to integration
Laws and regulations can make or break the viability of innovative energy projects. This is also known by AKD attorney Marjolein Dieperink, who saw, among other things, deferring heat law (again) until 2023: “The law can impede the transmission of energy. So together we must look for smart solutions, changing and improving the system. As a sector, we have always worked in a silo, but we have to work more than one vision. Even with the backlog of legislation, we have to come up with a complete project.”
According to her, an important condition for successful energy and heating projects is that different stakeholders and stakeholders are aware of the full life cycle and are aware of each other’s challenges and starting points. “Contracts are often about the distribution of risk, and especially with complex projects, it’s about looking for balance,” says Diebrink. “This is why it is important to identify different interests during the full life cycle. For example, a municipality often has a coordinating role and a long-term interest in development. It is important for other parties, because if things go wrong, they have to arrange a solution. In the project partner network, We find developers, companies, owners, customers, but also the heating company, network operators, and the industry with residual heat.”
Recognize the uncertainties
These parties have sometimes been on the road for three decades and working on developments. Even more important is recognizing the uncertainties. “Is it clear, for example, whether a source of heat and cold is available throughout its lifespan?” In addition, security of supply and affordability, as well as speed and timeliness are important elements. Developers and heating companies also want investment security. Private parties have to invest and need certainty to make these long-term investments.” According to her, the relevant questions that need to be asked and answered are “Who owns the heating network?” and “What happens in the event of bankruptcy?”, But also “What are the guarantees? required in advance, by whom, and how certain the return is?” and concludes that “it also makes sense to think about the timing of investments and how to deal with construction delays.”
After her presentation, Dibrink joined an interactive panel discussion with Onno Dwars of Ballast Nedam Development, Paul van Dijk of Utrecht Municipality, and Avindre Ramnath of Eneco. The event participants not only discussed with experts, but also entered into discussion with each other. For example about the first statement “Municipalities have very little knowledge of the energy market”, to which there has been a lot of response. By Van Dyck, among others: “I do not agree with the statement, because we think we have a lot of knowledge about the energy market. Our colleagues make analyzes and calculations about energy infrastructure and participate in discussions with ministries. The level of knowledge varies from one municipality to another and we always need To the marketplace for innovation, development and knowledge sharing. Debrink adds: “The market and the municipality complement each other, so get the right things on both sides, but don’t sit on each other’s chair. I am convinced that the level of knowledge in the municipalities can be increased, but don’t go too far and don’t try to do everything yourself” . Ramnath agrees: “The challenges for municipalities mainly lie in maintaining affordability and implementing sustainability. Because there is a great deal of uncertainty when it comes to legislation and regulations. This is why good communication and long-term engagement between energy companies and municipalities is so important.”
Another sound came from Dwars. He wondered if we were ready for the new reality due to the changing energy market. “For many end users, it is all about reasonable energy costs. We are not responding adequately to that. As a sector, we continue to maximize consumption, while we must commit ourselves to working towards a state of minimizing consumption. For this we have to adjust the incentives in the system, because at the time The current ones still have to do to improve the business case. We need to become less dependent on the energy market and become less individualistic.”
Hence, he bridges the gap to the second phrase “developers go too far for their own interests”. According to Van Dyck, this is not the case (always): “Some project developers set standards higher than legal ambitions and as a municipality you are proud of that. The middle bracket focuses on standards and achieves them. Then you have another part to chase after. At the same time, you want to give as much possible freedom to give the market the opportunity to show what they are good at.” Dwars responded: “We see an example of how things can work differently in the municipality of Amsterdam, where there is a greater focus on the end user in order to ensure lower energy costs. In our projects we aim to lower housing costs and want to do more than what is in the building ordinance. We must There will be more incentives and the importance of lowering housing costs must be made clear. There is also a task for the municipalities to give permits, but we also have to challenge the market to come up with reasonable rates and start changing the system.”