Start! Learn by doing! Join forces! Involve the public!
After the formal opening words by moderator Jan Douwe Kroeske, the afternoon part of the event was kicked off by Pieter Boot (Plan Bureau voor de Leefomgeving), who addressed the importance of the heat transition. He explained: “Heat is about half of the energy transition, it deserves its place in our attention.”
These ‘calls to action’ were quoted by many of our presenters during the ERC event centered around the Heat Transition on 8 October.
Following Pieter Boot’s presentation, the five working group sessions took the stage one after the other, allowing members to attend all five of them instead of just one. Presentations of these sessions are available in the member section of our website.
The evening part of the program was kicked off by Jan Douwe Kroeske and Barthold Schroot who represented EBN as the organizing ERC partner. Barthold underpinned the important role of the heat transition in making the energy transition succeed.
Interviewed by Jan Douwe Kroeske, Jeanette Baljeu (Province Zuid Holland) explained the working of the heat roundabout in the region South-Holland-South. In this collaboration industry plays an important role as provider of the otherwise abundant heat, giving it a new purpose in the roundabout. Jeanette Baljeu stressed: “In the whole chain all parties need to contribute!”
The panel discussion focused on what it takes to make the heat transition work. Asked what she would need from the Provincial government, Manja Thiry (Eneco) called for a governmental framework for collaboration in the heat transition, resulting in affordable heat for end-users. Joost Rompa (BMC) underlined the necessity of more pipelines to fulfill heat demand. Joost: “Besides a technical challenge, the regional scale to make the transition work is also a societal one. National scale is therefor too large, local too small.” Michelle de Rijke (Van der Feltz advocaten) stressed the need for local interested parties to make it work. Indicated by Jan Douwe Kroeske ‘as the pink elephant’, the panel touched upon the financial part of the transition. Michelle de Rijke suggested that a good practice would be to do the calculations first to test if it will be affordable for end-users. In the round up the panelists were pretty clear on what to their opinion would be essential. Manja Thiry: “Start! Learn from mistakes, keep the end goal in mind: happy people in sustainable houses.” Michelle de Rijke: “Avoid overregulation, keep it adventurous!” Joost Rompa: “Involve the community by thinking regional and acting local! Be practical!”
In an interview set-up Jan Willem van Hoogstraten (EBN), Wouter Bos (Invest NL) and Stephan Brandligt (Municipality of Delft) discussed the substantiation of the co-operation of Invest NL and EBN to accelerate the Heat transition, and their co-operation with the Regional Energy Strategy Rotterdam The Hague. Talking about how to get from ambition to action, Jan Willem van Hoogstraten positioned the Regional Energy Strategy (RES) as an excellent instrument to understand the problem and the challenge. Wouter Bos added: “To make this work, we need clarity on so many things: demand, policies, risks, etc. Clarity will bring stability.” Stefan Brandligt said: “To provide clarity, collaboration is essential as well as transparency of the business case. Trust lies at the basis of both. In fact, these are interchangeable terms - without clarity you cannot build trust, whilst trust lies at the basis to create clarity.” Wouter Bos: “There are many unknowns, e.g. to affordability: will people be willing to pay more for heat in specific regions?” Asked about the financial risks Invest NL is willing to take, he explained that Invest NL’s purpose is to invest in real business cases, compared to other initiatives such as the ‘Wopke-Wiebes’ fund which is merely subsidy based. Stefan Brandligt concluded: “We are in a tremendous hurry!”
During a short intermezzo, René Peters (ERC) and Sander Vergroesen (IRO) handed over a cheque of 3,000 euro’s to Sjoerd Veldkamp (Duik de Noordzee Schoon). “The volunteers of Stichting Duik de Noordzee Schoon are a great source of inspiration to the boards of ERC and IRO”, Sander Vergroesen explained. René Peters said: “To support the Foundation, we joined forces to fund the translation of the Foundation’s adventure book IN THE DEEP into English, making it accessible to an international audience.” In the book beautiful images and great stories reveal 14 diving expeditions of the Foundation. With the sales of this book (€ 25,00) the Foundation can fund one or more diving days during one of their next expeditions. Jan Douwe Kroeske added: “The English edition of the book provides you with an inspiring business gift, of course you can also order it for personal use.” Interested in a personalized edition of 'In the Deep' with your own logo? For all your contributions and / or questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested to order the book? Use the QR-Code!
Interviewed by Jan Douwe Kroeske, Esther Pijs (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate), illustrated where we are in the energy transition. She said: “70% of our home heating is used for heating, showing, cooking etc. Making that renewable based is an important effort.” Responding to an audience question on how she sees the new national target of 60% CO2 reduction, Esther Pijs said: “It is challenging but we need to take the steps. We will need ambitious targets, a new heat act, local governments will need provide the regional visions and approaches.”
In his keynote address, Diederik Samsom (Cabinet of EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans), elaborated on the implementation of the EU Green Deal. Combining ambition, knowledge, creativity and hard work are at the heart of the approach. Diederik Samson: “The energy transition is more a social challenge than a technical one.” Asked by Jan Douwe Kroeske how we will succeed, given the unexpected COVID-19 crisis, Diederik Samson described the parallel with the financial crisis a decade ago, but also stressed the difference in responses. “Now we spend more public money, which also means more public involvement. All plans in the Green Deal that have a positive effect on jobs will be put in the front. It will also be about justice and fairness”, he explained. The renovation of 200 million buildings in the EU will be put on the top on the priorities list. Diederik Samson added: “The Green Deal will provide an opportunity to innovate renovation, scale it up and provide a boost in technical assistance. To make it work, more regulation will be essential. Driving forces that will make a difference in making it work are our resilience, our technological head-start, and our aim to creating a better world for our children.” He concluded: “The Netherlands is on a steep curve upwards, with solar as the biggest grower and offshore energy as the second fastest grower. The Dutch experience in using renewable heat in the district heating is a real differentiator within the EU market. If you put in the right plans, you can earn the EU money!”
Jan Douwe Kroeske and Barthold Schroot together closed the event, memorizing the red lines in the conversations in the program: Start! Learn by doing! Join forces! Involve the public!