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These days of varying messages on energy transition scenarios, we continue to be surprised about the lack of basic understanding. And in addition, the lack of knowledge and underpinning facts when for example is mentioned; “we must fully move away from the gas network”.
The words ‘energy transition’ say it all. Moving through intermediate steps to a sound and sustainable end solution. In the end to comply with the objectives of the ‘Paris agreement’. ‘Let us not throw away old shoes before we have new one’s that fit us’. And especially prevent us from capital destruction on a large scale. After all, the energy transition costs a lot so let us handle our financial resources in a sustainable manner.
In the Netherlands we have ‘the most finely meshed gas network in the world’ which we can use in the energy transition. Definitely by making optimal use of biogas/green gas for households and by applying proven techniques such as micro-CHPs in combination with solar panels and home storage. As far as the latter is concerned: a good business case is not yet available for individual households. But on a slightly larger scale, local storage can already be very interesting. Additional costs for the local electricity grid can therefore remain low. Because once we start to use electric cars on a large scale, this will in any event give an extra network load (with peaks). Clever handling of electricity storage and the additional demand for electricity can already be done. And spreading the loading on the electricity network through, for example, price incentives can help enormously.
So let us be open to the various sustainability options and deal with the energy transition in a more nuanced way. Instead of ‘crying with the wolves in the forest’.
Dutch society is currently not the fastest in Europe from an energy transition viewpoint. Strange, because we really have the knowledge and most solutions at hand. Yes, it must become cheaper, and the right tax incentives are definitely necessary. The latter is a role of the government, but also of all stakeholders working in the energy transition value chain. To get end solutions cheaper is on the one hand rolling-out these solutions on a large scale, and on the other hand to continue innovating on both individual techniques and system(s) integration.
Finally, let’s learn from the developments in wind energy and solar energy. Both in terms of technological innovations and the enormous cost price reduction that these techniques have gone through. The energy transition is now getting more traction with all stakeholders in the Netherlands. Let’s hold on to this momentum and work together.
Aarten Energy Solutions
Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2017 presents the status of renewable energy employment, both by technology and in selected countries, over the past year. In this fourth edition, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) finds that renewable energy employed 9.8 million peoplearound the world in 2016 – a 1.1% increase over 2015.