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  • Solving the terawatt challenge

    - A large living lab in the north of the Netherlands wants to upscale its innovative research and innovation in the field of energy. In the European Parliament new ties were forged to make the shift from fossil to sustainable energy possible.

    “The challenge is so huge, that it’s no longer a technical revolution, but a social revolution”, concluded the speakers of the Knowledge 4 Innovation-debate.

    Max van den Berg (the King’s Commissioner of the Province of Groningen): “Sometimes a good railroad or harbor can help development, but what we really need in knowledge infrastructure. In the specific field of energy we have a front position thanks to GasUie, GasTerra an NAM. This has delivered an enormous industry, today every household in The Netherlands is on gas.”

    “What we want is an integrated energy system where  households will consume and produce. Our hope is that we can deliver the knowledge jointly with the Germans. It can be done. EnTranCe is the place where it’s happening already.”

    Europe independent in 2050

    The lector Energy transition at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Wim van Gemert, explained that the living lab, the Energy Transition Center (Entrance), comprises  55.000 square meter. Van Gemert: “We asked young people ‘what would Europe look like when it’s your Europe’. They came with the case that Europe in 2050 will be independent of the rest of the world.”

    “That means our society should be sustainable. Replacing fossil resources by sustainable resources will bring people more and more in power, literally. The challenge is so huge, that it’s no longer a technical revolution, but a social revolution. Balancing energy is an important question, balancing in time. We started the energy transition centre to work on this type of questions, to create the condition that people can really be in power.”

    Geert Graaf, CEO of GasUnie was also enthusiastic about the concept of the Energy Transition Center. “Before 2005 Gasunie was an integrated company, afterwards Gasunie is a gas infrastructure company. When we look into the future, we see a transportation system that we have to keep functional and alive every day. In 50 years it should be just as good as it is today. But suppose natural gas would come to an end, what should we do then? We have to get connected to the energy transition thinking.”