New solar and wind farms pop up faster than trendy coffee bars. But the energy transition isn’t only about replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. It is also about transitioning from centralised energy production in a few large power plants, towards distributed and two-way energy distribution. Our electrical grid, which is quite old, hasn’t been designed with two-way energy distribution in mind, let alone been optimised for it. Too much renewable energy may actually jeopardise the reliability of our electrical grid.
With a share of 30% in our national energy consumption, the built environment can play an important role in ensuring the energy transition to be a smooth one. Using smart energy solutions, buildings can help mitigate fluctuations in the supply of and demand for energy. With proper understanding of their exact energy need, whole campuses and neighbourhoods can even become self-sustaining, reducing . The best path towards a sustainable future hasn’t yet been laid out, but the NWO Perspectief programme on Smart Energy Solutions in the Build Environment helps in laying the ground work for a smooth transition.