We can efficiently and comfortably heat thousands of houses in the metropolitan region of Amsterdam, using the residual heat from companies that is currently disposed in the air or water systems. All this wasted heat can be used for the development of a regional heating network. This might even be an energy solution sustaining the entire country, our ideas might be applicable nationwide. Would that be cool or not?
As representative of more than 32 governmental agencies, energy companies and potentially interested heat producers, we have signed a collaboration agreement This enables us to design a district heating plan and create a business case. The regional housing corporations are also involved but haven’t signed the agreement yet.
Read more about this program (information is in Dutch)
Do you have any idea why we are draining our natural gas bubble, while in the meantime industrial waste heat, which could be used to heat tens of thousands of houses, is being released into the North Sea? Neither do we. And this phenomenon occurs in the rest of the country as well. Moreover, in theory, all Dutch households could be heated with industrial waste heat that is currently being discharged in air or water. This happens in almost all other countries in Europe. If there’s industry, there are machines that are cooled using water. All you have to do is build a pipeline to the closest city and you could use the heated water to heat the houses. To sum up, we can use waste to our advantage.
"The consumption of natural gas of all houses and companies that can be connected to the district heating network equals 400 million euro’s annually. That’s the market."
We are going to reuse as much waste heat as possible in the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam by building a district heating network. We are almost starting this process. Warm water is currently pumped from the waste processing plant AEB to the western part of Amsterdam and soon to the northern part of Amsterdam. Heating pipes currently run from the Diemer central to the eastern part of Amsterdam, Almere and Amstelveen. The district heating network in Purmerend transitioned from fossil fuels to woodchips.
However, there are still many sources of waste heat that currently aren’t used, like Tata Steel in IJmuiden and the industry in Zaandam. In order to use this industrial waste heat, we need a regional district heating network. We will connect this network to the already existing pipelines and therefore complete the picture. With this network we supply 400.000 houses with heat. These houses currently consume over 400 million euro’s worth of gas. This has a huge impact on the environment and a waste of money. The regional district heating network should outlive the year 2050, the year in which the Netherlands has to be 100% sustainable.
It is robust en efficient: The network can always provide heat thanks to the collective (and therefore cheap) buffer facilities and assisting heat plant.
It is easy to make sustainable: It is possible to phase out the fossil fuels and connect sustainable sources like geothermal energy.
It is smart: If the wind turbines on the North Sea provide us with more electricity than is required at that moment we can use it to heat a buffer of water.
It is open or can become open, in order for other (and smaller) producers of district heating can sell their waste heat using the network.
Jan van der Meer
Program director "MRA warmte en koude"
Jodenbreestraat 25 - 5e etage
1011 NH Amsterdam