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Berenschot presents seven insights for the energy transition in 2018: heat and hydrogen gain ground

Published on 13 February 2019

The year 2018 was a tumultuous year in the energy sector. Of course because of the climate agreement in which so many were involved, but internationally too, the energy transition received a lot of attention.

Such developments demanded insight and reflection at the start of the new year. That is why, by traditional, Berenschot collated the lessons from the energy projects in 2018. Use the following seven insights to your advantage. These were also presented during the climate agreement process, with the main theme being that heat networks and hydrogen are gaining ground in the transition discussions.

  1. Heat and hydrogen will soon be playing a key role in the energy transition. This was shown in three energy scenarios formulated by Berenschot. “Electrons, Molecules, Heat”. The latter, with many sustainable heat and diverse hydrogen sources, seems to be a strong mix.
  2. There are new possibilities for the regional energy transition. For instance, as investigated by Berenschot, there are more options for sustainable sources for heat networks, including hydrogen as climate neutral peak supply.
  3. Existing scenarios for total CO2 reduction are extremely diverse, as was shown in a system study presented by Berenschot in the Climate Council. A point of concern in this regard, is a possible future electricity shortage (winter peak): this demands flexibility, for example via hybrid electrification.
  4. Total greenhouse gas reduction in the chemical industry is best achieved with a mix of electrification, biomass, circular, CCS, various types of hydrogen and smart heating technologies. Implementation requires cooperation with the energy sector and coverage of the uneconomic top, taking the international playing field into account.
  5. Solar heat provides a lot of heat per surface area. A solar boiler with a heat pump in each home is a perfect combination, as well as solar heat plus collective seasonal storage. Demand peaks in the electricity supply will also be less high.
  6. Natural gas consumption in existing homes can be reduced quickly and cost-efficiently and can also be achieved by combining the gas central heating boiler with a sustainable source such as a heat pump (hybrid) or solar boiler.
  7. Structural supportive policy is needed for the climate agreement: technological neutral subsidies for many of the measures, fiscal measures in energy taxes, roll-out of infrastructure (electricity, heat, hydrogen and CO2) and avoidance of high charges for the end user. Without good supportive policy, the objectives are more difficult to achieve.

Would you like to read more?

Curious about the complete version of the seven insights from 2018 regarding the energy transition? Download the complete annual overview here ‘Seven insights for the energy transition’ (Dutch). If you have questions about what the energy transition means for your organisation, and you would like to know how Berenschot can support you with this, please contact Bert den Ouden, via +31 6 51 99 42 86 or b.denouden@berenschot.nl.