Twente has delivered the concept of Energy Strategy Twente. Various working groups from municipalities, the province of Overijssel and the Vechtstromen Water Board have been making energy plans since the autumn of 2019. The concept, which was offered to the National RES Programme, describes the options for generating electricity from the sun and wind in Twente. It also describes how Twente can heat sustainable and natural gas-free homes and buildings in the future. “This is an important first step in an energy transition that will impact the way we live and work”, says Louis Koopman, chairman of the RES Twente Steering Group.
The goal is that all the different RESs in the Netherlands will realise the national task for the generation of renewable electricity on land, together. This means that the 30 regions in the Netherlands must generate 35 terawatt-hours (Twh) of sustainable electricity together, as agreed in the Climate Agreement. Twente will take care of 1,5 Twh. This means that half of the current electricity consumption in the region will be generated sustainably within ten years. Directors from Twente have expressed their desire to invest heavily in solar panels, solar fields and the installation of windmills or wind turbines. Twente could potentially heat homes and buildings without using natural gas at all, by using biogas networks and industrial residual heat. The countryside is a big source of biogas, while the urban area has many industrial residual heat sources. The potential is there to heat 64% of all homes in Twente sustainably, by using these two sources. The potential for sustainable heat sources also has a positive effect on electricity needs, according to Louis Koopman.
Many initiatives in the field of climate and sustainability already exist in all municipalities in Twente, at the water boards and in the province of Overijssel. These initiatives literally contain a lot of energy. Energy Strategy Twente builds on the proceeds of these initiatives. The Vechtstromen Water Board created ways of generating energy sustainably. An energy factory that will make electricity from sewer waste is being built in Hengelo. The region will have a new sustainable and innovative masterpiece when the project is finished!
Twente’s business community is also making a major contribution. For example, Royal Grolsch and Twence have taken an important step. Twence will supply Grolsch with heat that has been generated in a completely green way, through a new pipeline. Farmers in Twente have also launched a biogas network. Energy cooperative IJskoud currently consists of six dairy farms from Noord-Deurningen and the surrounding area. They produce biogas by fermenting manure from the dairy cows on their farms. The network provides energy to various companies in the vicinity.
The concept RES shows that the exact locations for generating solar and wind energy are not yet known. Each municipality is responsible for choosing a location for the draft RES. The municipalities will consider which locations qualify in the coming period, in consultation with residents, landowners and other involved parties. It is also not yet known where which heat sources will be used. Buildings in Twente are different everywhere, after all. Just think of the differences between the cities and the countryside. This is why every municipality will create its vision on the heat transition. They will indicate which neighbourhood will be made sustainable by 2030 in this vision, and what the alternatives are. Louis Koopman: “This RES concept for Twente is therefore mainly an invitation to have this social conversation with each other. Municipalities in Twente are talking with the community about the local energy policy, and how to give shape to it. We will create the RES Twente 1.0 based on the results of these talks. It should be ready by July 1, 2021.
It is also necessary for creating the RES 1.0 that the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) will investigate this concept for Twente. Their findings and the response from the community will be included in the further elaboration of RES 1.0. A joint decision will be made in the spring of 2021 by the municipal councils of Twente, the General Board of the Vechtstromen Water Board and the Provincial Council. “This will be an important meeting for telling each other, clearly and precisely, what we can do, what we want, and what the alternatives could be. The municipalities will be in charge, and we will facilitate the municipalities in this as RES Twente”, says Koopman. “Nothing is fixed yet, in the concept RES. It is a first, important step that provides direction.”