The Dutch municipality of Oss has announced its intention to become energy-neutral by the year 2050. This is a huge challenge that will require major efforts in the field of energy conservation and renewable power generation.
This report provides insight into the ins and outs of these aspirations. What can be achieved through energy conservation within municipal boundaries, and what then remains to be secured by means of renewables? And if renewables are indeed required, what are the most relevant options for heat as well as for electricity?
Our calculations show that it is technically feasible to reduce current energy consumption by over 60% (including around 16% by fitting solar panels on roofs in the municipality). Not all the conservation measures that are technically feasible are cost-effective (e.g. energy label A for homes). Oss municpality has therefore opted to work with 50% conservation (incl. solar panels on roofs) as a more realistic ambition. For calculating the amount of renewables required we consequently proceeded from 50% conservation relative to present consumption and 50% new renewables. In other words, what is not conserved must be provided by renewables.
For this 50% renewable energy, Oss local authority has made the pragmatic assumption that half will be generated within the municipality and half elsewhere.