What should we be doing different?
Urgency and benefits of the energy transition
The energy transition is in full swing
The energy transition in the Netherlands is in full swing! Research projects and substantial investments are being made in various sectors such as network operators, in companies and also by private individuals.
The 2019 Climate Agreement marked the start of an acceleration of the energy transition, with ambitious targets for sustainable energy sources and reduction of greenhouse gases.
One of the major challenges in the energy transition is flexibility and the balance between supply and demand. Both sun and wind depend on the weather, the time of day and the season. This while the demand for energy has a completely different rhythm. Flexibility is needed to match supply and demand. Flexibility in the form of temporary or longer-term storage of energy, or flexibility in the form of a different way of thinking about the demand for electricity. You also have to deal with the coordination of consumption based on the availability of power, in the form of surplus or scarcity. This means that we must consume (or buffer) when there is sufficient energy, and minimize our consumption when there is scarcity.
Temporary storage of energy can take place in the form of batteries, for example hydrogen via electrolysis seems to be a good energy carrier for long-term storage. We frequently see new developments in the possibilities of energy storage. The key will be to find the right form of energy storage for specific needs.
The energy transition has an impact on living, work and transport. In homes, different patterns will arise due to other forms of heat supply, home batteries, solar power and charging for electric transport. The option for flexible energy rates will stimulate this change.
The transition has a different impact per industry, such as electrification in the construction sector, the horticultural sector or industry. Different scenarios will apply, with a couple of central characteristics: phasing out fossil fuels and solving the flexibility issue. In general, solutions at the source are seen as the best way to buffer energy.
Finally, electrification of transport is an easy step towards reduced emissions. As with batteries, hydrogen or other energy carriers, we hope to achieve the objectives of the various climate agreements together.
From energy transaction to energy transition
Fortona believes in a real energy transition and wants to contribute to a completely different view of energy consumption. What should we be doing in a fundamentally different way compared to the past?
An example. In a car wash, one of the Fortona projects, data shows that there is a clear relationship between sunshine and the wish for customers to come and wash their cars. The most popular times are at the end of the day, especially on Thursday and Friday: a mismatch between the presence of the sun and the consumption of energy. A battery system could be installed to provide a solution. So size a PV installation and add a battery to match the existing usage profile. At Fortona we call this a energy transaction: deploying technology to continue doing things as we are accustomed to do.
The energy transition is rethinking
For the car wash, we also looked together at a real energy transition: what else can we do based on data? In this example.
- An east-west oriented PV installation, with an emphasis on west to catch the last rays of the sun in the evenings.
- Offering ‘sunny rates’ to encourage washing during sunny hours.
- Minimize consumption in the evening and night through insight and control of an Energy Management System (EMS).
- An optimally dimensioned battery system can subsequently contribute to lowering the connection value, phase balancing and absorbing peaks.
By going beyond just the energy transaction, it is possible to optimize the consumption, production and management of energy. This encourages rethinking on several levels. Optimizing energy production. Enticing consumers to use services at the most energy-efficient moments. Minimize and optimize consumption at times when solar energy is not available. And thanks to the battery system, consumption peaks can be reduced, to prevent grid congestion and thus also save costs on the energygrid connection.
Based on the conviction that the energy transition offers opportunities for real impact, collaboration is an important pillar for Fortona. Interaction with owner and users is necessary to achieve a real energy transition.
Fortona as your knowledge partner
Fortona is your knowledge partner in the field of the energy transition. If you have any questions or would like advice, please contact us.