System Integration

Traditionally, the energy system has a relatively simple chain with limited links and players: energy is produced centrally and brought to the end user. The energy transition is leading to new developments in the energy system. The system will have more decentralised energy generators, more diversity in supply, and energy behaviour and needs are becoming more complex. This calls for more customisation and a good fit into the energy system and society.

This changing playing field calls for a modern and resilient system with a chain of carriers, players and links to ensure stability, reduce costs and guarantee support. These are important preconditions for sustainable energy investments, jobs and activity. It requires new knowledge and cooperation. The emphasis is on integrated systems to create reliable, affordable and sustainable chains of energy production and consumption. Both European and national efforts are strongly focused on CO2 reduction, which will make the system more sustainable and diversified.

Within our system integration programme, we focus on two (regional) specific spearheads:

1) System Integration

Within our System Integration-line, we focus on three types of ecosystems: the built environment, grid congestion and agro-energy.

The built environment: About 25% of the energy consumed is within the built environment. Making this more sustainable is a major challenge, because it involves many (social) actors and requires radical, customised solutions.

Grid congestion: Due to limited grid capacity and increasing supply of solar and wind energy, it is becoming increasingly difficult to properly integrate renewable electricity into the system. This inhibits development and calls for area-specific solutions, with storage and/or connection to customers.

Agro-energy: The agricultural sector is relatively strongly represented in our region. Due to various raw material flows and specific energy needs, many farms are a stand-alone ecosystem and are under pressure from, among other things, nitrogen emissions.

2) New Energy Hubs

Within the New Energy Hubs-line, we focus on three types of hubs: the North Sea, gas infrastructure reuse and circular industry.

North Sea: In view of its location, the North Sea region is well-positioned for the development of wind energy at sea. Adjacant to the North Sea, a strong business and knowledge cluster has developed in terms of the position of the nation’s sea ports, links to existing infrastructure and the (chemical) industry.

Reuse of gas infrastructure: existing extraction and purification installations will be closed down as a result of the phasing out of natural gas production in The Netherlands. This offers opportunities for reuse as sustainable energy hubs. At these gas production locations there is often (controlled) space and valuable infrastructure present, which can be used to produce and transport sustainable energy.

Circular industry: The (chemical) industry in The Netherlands is a major user of fossil fuels, both for processes and for its own energy supply. This is a major challenge in terms of sustainability. This can be done by switching to renewable sources and creating sustainable cycles.

Energy transition is a fashionable topic. One moment the topic of district heating or green gases is the holy grail, the next day it’s heat pumps or hydrogen. New Energy Coalition’s strength is our knowledge of the energy system as a whole and of each of its individual components. This way, we do not go along with fads, but choose wisely from all the different options for each specific situation.

- Mark de la Vieter

Ir. Drs. M.L. de la Vieter

Coordinator Local Energy Systems

Mark de la Vieter has a background in Chemistry and Business Administration and is coordinator of local energy systems at New Energy Coalition. Mark is an expert in the field of smart grids and the development of integrated business cases for sustainable energy systems. He also has extensive experience as a developer and manager of complex Horizon 2020 projects.

Expertises: Offshore high voltage grids Energy storage Project financing Business cases Horizon 2020 Energy markets Demand response

Combining knowledge and expertise

The expansion of knowledge focuses primarily on modelling (social, technical, economic) and the processes required for cooperation, support/behaviour and decision-making to arrive at optimal configurations. By combining and sharing this knowledge and expertise, it can also be applied elsewhere and utilised for new market models, technologies, policies and regulations.

Below is an overview of (international) projects in which we are working on developments within system integration: