Local Energy Systems
Local energy systems provide small to medium-sized end users with energy for domestic purposes, commercial use and mobility. This demand has traditionally always been met by a highly controlled, centralized system. This system incorporates several large energy sources or producers, with end users in the Netherlands being supplied with energy: first through a transmission network and then through a clearly defined distribution network. However, the energy transition is putting this system under pressure, as we need to stop using fossil fuels for the production of electricity and stop using natural gas. Partly due to problems with earthquakes in the province of Groningen and because the mobility sector needs to achieve zero emissions. The focus is therefore shifting towards renewable electricity, partly in a decentralized/local setting.
To facilitate such a transformation, therefore, we need to expand the range of tools available to us. We need to ensure that the necessary investments can be made to achieve a successful energy transition: economic, social and technological ones.
There is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the spatial integration of renewable energy into local energy systems. There are also many questions concerning infrastructure aspects of local energy systems. If we are to deal with these issues in a logical, coherent manner, we need to consider the challenges that lie before us and the ideal solutions, while taking into account their feasibility. We also need to make sure that the proposed transition pathways towards sustainable local energy systems are clear and transparent.
Below you can see an overview of the several meetings that took place in order to complete the research agenda on the topic Local Energy Systems to stimulate and realise new research possibilities.