Sustainable and flexible energy supply
The nature of our energy supply is set to change dramatically. With fossil fuels slowly but surely running out, we are increasingly shifting our focus to more sustainable, renewable alternatives. This transition will have consequences for the infrastructure that we use to generate, transport and store energy. Natural energy sources like the sun and wind are changeable and the same is true of the consumption behaviour of the end user. With this in mind, flexibility has to be the key word for any future-proof energy system.
In the years ahead, it will be important to prepare our energy network for new energy flows obtained from sustainable sources and generated locally in varying quantities. The infrastructure will need to be prepared for increasing electrification too, particularly where transport is concerned. The security of energy supply can only be guaranteed if the safety and reliability of distribution are guaranteed, whether in relation to new forms of energy generation - using hydrogen or heat pumps, for example - or the storage of solar and wind energy generated by companies and private individuals.
Here at Kiwa Technology, we are working today on the energy issues of tomorrow. Should we set our sights on residual heat or biogas networks in the future or will we opt for a fully electric solution? Or should we actually try to identify ways to achieve smart connections between the various energy options?
Kiwa Technology is working with local authorities, network operators, local energy cooperatives and other parties in the energy sector to consider possibilities and solutions for our future energy supply. We are also turning our attention to the question of how we could continue to use the current infrastructure in combination with new forms of energy. Amongst other things, this involves the analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of various energy carriers and research on the corresponding technologies and materials.
Demand for storage increasing
Regardless of the ultimate choices made in relation to energy systems of the future, flexibility will be key. The energy infrastructure of the future will need to facilitate efficient connections between the various forms of energy and also provide for the storage of energy that is not needed immediately. Demand for electric energy storage has increased fivefold worldwide in recent years, particularly in the United States and South Korea. The market for energy storage is growing quickly in Europe too, especially in the United Kingdom. The Netherlands is continuing to lag behind a little in this respect, although a considerable increase is evident in the number of Dutch innovation-driven start-ups focusing on energy storage.
Kiwa Technology is also experimenting extensively with new possibilities for energy storage, without losing sight of the existing infrastructure. For example, we are studying the possibility of converting surplus energy into hydrogen and then transporting the resulting product via the existing gas pipeline network.
An energy all-rounder
The transition to sustainable, flexible energy systems and storage solutions will require a partner that has a second-to-none understanding of the entire energy-supply spectrum. A real energy all-rounder. As an international service provider and knowledge partner in the energy and water supply chain, Kiwa Technology is this partner. We have accumulated extensive knowledge and experience during the more than 80 years that we have been active in the gas industry. Our expertise is continuing to grow and now covers the breadth of the energy and water sectors. We support our customers – which range from public authorities and industry to network operators and housing associations - with research, advice, engineering, training and product development and by building and implementing components, equipment and systems.