Transition to low carbon energy
A new energy system in the making
Our energy supply is on the eve of major changes. To prevent global warming and because fossil fuels are running out, we need to look for sustainable, renewable energy sources. This transition, the energy transition, also has consequences for the infrastructure with which we generate, transport and store energy. After all, the supply of natural energy sources such as sun and wind is unpredictable, just like consumer behavior.
Reliable energy infrastructure
We have to prepare our energy network for new energy flows, coming from sustainable sources and generated decentrally in varying quantities. In addition, the infrastructure must be prepared for increasing electrification, in particular of our means of transport. Guaranteed energy supply heavily depends on the safety and reliability of the distribution network. Whether this involves new forms of energy generation with hydrogen or the storage of solar and wind energy that is generated by companies and private individuals.
Flexibility is key
Whatever our future energy systems will look like, flexibility is the starting point. The energy infrastructure must soon not only be suitable for connecting the various forms of energy efficiently, but must also provide storage for energy that is not being used at that time. Worldwide, the demand for electrical energy storage has increased fivefold in recent years. The energy storage market is also growing and the number of innovation-driven start-ups that deal with energy storage is on the rise. This concerns both energy storage in the form of electricity and storage of heat or in (hydrogen) molecules.
New energy forms and current infrastructure
Will we have to invest in waste heat or biogas networks in the future or is all-electric our best bet? Or should we look for ways to connect the various energy options in a smart way? Knowledge parties in the energy sector, governments, energy network operators and other stakeholders are working hard together to see where the possibilities and solutions can be found for our future energy supply. They think about how the current infrastructure can be used in combination with new energy forms and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of different energy carriers and investigate the technologies and materials behind it.