Projects

On this page, we are sharing some of the projects our consortium members are involved in.

Community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVVP)

Anna Wieczorek (project leader), Luc van Summeren, Laura van den Berghe, Aleid Groenewoudt et al.

Renewable energy, such as solar and wind energy, are crucial for achieving a sustainable energy transition. However, their growing deployment, intermittent nature and lack of storage facilities are making it challenging to balance demand and supply and to stay within the capacity limits of the electricity grid. In this project (2017-2022), a community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP) is developed and tested in three different community and national contexts. The aim of cVPP is to facilitate local community energy initiatives to aggregate their distributed generation and flexibility through an Energy Management System (EMS) platform, which models price changes, energy flows and weather conditions, and thereby empowers communities and helps to solve the grid problems. For more information:https://research.tue.nl/en/projects/cvpp-community-based-virtual-power-plant orhttps://www.nweurope.eu/projects/project-search/cvpp-community-based-virtual-power-plant/

 

Deep Transitions (1900-2050)

Harry Lintsen, Frank Veraart,  & Erik van Vleuten (TU/e History Lab)

In the coming decades government, business, knowledge institutions and civil society will need to work together and accelerate a wide range of system transitions for energy, healthcare, mobility, water and food provision. Such transitions align technological change to behavioral, institutional and cultural change with the aim of delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals. While there is a lot of effort to analyze individual system transitions, an overarching analysis of how these transitions relate and influence one other is noticeably lacking.

The proposed project will develop a strong research consortium and research program for such an analysis, taking into account the historical analysis of the construction of current systems as well as a range of pathways for future interconnected systems changes. The historical analysis is crucially important to uncover barriers for change (lock-ins) as well as niches that may become a steppingstone for system transitions. The future oriented analysis will develop a new type of scenario methodology for enabling system change across many areas. The project will cover the period of 1900 to 2050, focus on the Netherlands, whilst grounding the analysis firmly in a European and global context. The project work will elaborate the recently introduced Deep Transition Framework (https://deeptransition.net) and couple it with the Measurement Framework for Well-being and Sustainability as developed by the CBS (https://longreads.cbs.nl/monitor-of-well-being-and-sdgs-2020/). More info www.uu.nl/en/news/the-second-deep-transition-in-the-netherlands

 

 Inter-University Sustainability Challenge

Karen Rebel & Floor Alkemade

Supported by the UU-WUR-TUE alliance, we offered a new course, the Inter-university sustainability challenge. In this course, students from the three universities worked together in multidisciplinary teams to work on different sustainability  challenges. Course coordinator is Dr. Karin Rebel from Utrecht University. Students were explicitly asked to also reflect on whether the solution they developed in this challenge-based course was fair and inclusive in addition to being technologically feasible and of course, sustainable.

 

Organising knowledge and learning for the regional energy transition (ORAKLE)

Anna Wieczorek (project leader), Jasper van Dijk, Lotte Meijer-Tolkamp

If the Netherlands want to achieve the ambitious climate goals set out in the Paris agreement, a substantial reduction in GHG emissions is crucial and urgent. Key opportunities for realizing such a transition are increasingly situated at the local and regional level. To seize these opportunities regional authorities, companies, and social partners in 30 regions across The Netherlands are expected to develop a so-called Regional Energy Strategy (RES). How to practically organize such a regional energy transition however, remains a challenge. The ORAKLE project (2020-2025) aims to support the regional energy transition by experimenting with existing and novel ways of organizing knowledge and learning in the context of a Noord-Brabant. For more information: https://research.tue.nl/en/projects/organising-knowledge-and-learning-for-the-regional-energy-transit

 

 Reconfiguring Energy for Social Equity (ReSET)

Jesse Hoffman, Maarten Hajer, & Thomas Bauwens

This research project (2020-2024), led by the Urban Futures Studio (UU) and together with academic and practice partners from the Netherlands, India, Germany and South Africa, aims to study how the energy transition can be leveraged to address SDG5 & SDG10 (reducing inequalities) and SDG1 (inclusive and just institutions). Specifically, ReSET compares four case studies from Germany, India, the Netherlands and South Africa, to increase understanding in how, in exemplary initiatives, the software in the form of ‘policy regimes’, determines the flow of investments into the hardware of energy infrastructures. For more information: https://www.uu.nl/en/research/urban-futures-studio/initiatives/reconfiguring-energy-for-social-equity

 

Sustainable Industry Lab

 The Sustainable Industry Lab (SIL) brings together Dutch academia, industry, government and social and environmental organisations to distills important choices and their consequences of the industrial sustainable transformation between 2020 and 2050. By means of synthesizing academic and expert knowledge, SIL aims to improve the quality of the societal and political debate to reach a carbon neutral Dutch industry by 2050. The activities and deliverables are organized around five themes. The Just Industry Transition theme strongly relates to the Fair Energy Transition Consortium. The concept of the fair energy transition bridges the gap between traditional techno-economical decision-making and the societal implications. In this theme we explore how the sustainable industrial transformation creates impacts on different groups, such as employees and employers, businesses, local residents, governments and societal and environmental organizations. We also study how potentially negative impacts can be reasonably mitigated. If you are interested to hear more about the Sustainable Industry Lab or the perspective of the Just Industry Transition you can e-mail Sanne Akerboom (s.akerboom@uu.nl).