Home District Energy News Progress for DH in the Netherlands

Progress for DH in the Netherlands

by Linda Bertelsen

With the expectation of their new heat law, the Netherlands are intensifying their efforts to develop DH in Dutch cities. And they are looking to Denmark for inspiration.

Danish - Dutch handshake

The new heat law gives the Dutch municipalities a key role in converting heat from almost 100% natural gas to green, low-cost heating. In the densely populated Netherlands, this means looking into district heating. A recent article in the leading Dutch energy media, Energeia, sums it up nicely: “Denmark is the guiding country when it comes to heat networks, and Dutch municipalities are eager to learn from their experiences.”

Dutch-Danish collaboration

For some time, DBDH, the Danish Energy Agency, and The Embassy of Denmark in The Hague have collaborated closely through the Energy Governance Partnership, to help answer the needs and questions of municipalities, research institutions, and authorities in the Netherlands. This has been possible because Danish experts from DH utilities, consultancies, and companies have kindly shared their experiences and know-how.

Transparency and skill level

Especially two things seem to have made a particular impact on the Dutch process: The transparency and skill level of the Danish experts and the significant strengthening of internal Dutch collaboration about DH. Networking has been built and expanded by doing activities such as the DBDH-lead Front-runner Cities project, conferences with municipalities, and tailor-made delegation visits to Denmark.

Article on the large potential for DH in the Netherlands

The article in Energeia took form during a DH conference in Groningen where the journalist interviewed Dutch and Danish experts. It describes the large potential for District heating in the Netherlands and share insights and advice from the experts. The need for transparency is an issue in The Netherlands, and perhaps that is why Caspar Boendermaker of the Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten comments on how transparency about costs creates trust: “The Danes know the costs of their heat companies down to the coffee cup.” Other advices focus on how to get started – starting small but also planning big.
The article finishes by concluding that the time seems ripe in the Netherlands for an increase in the number of heat networks, that municipalities will play a key role in planning and controlling districting heating, and that – in the words for Jesper Møller Larsen of Aalborg Forsyning – “sometimes you need a crisis to get things going”.

For more information

Contact Laura Kjær lkj@ens.dk, The Danish Energy Agency, Mikkel Vibæk Jensen mivije@um.dk, The Embassy of Denmark in The Hague, or DBDH (Morten Jordt Duedahl at md@dbdh.dk or Hanne Kortegaard Støchkel at hks@dbdh.dk)