MRA: en route to energy neutrality

The Amsterdam Metropolitan Region (MRA) is a platform of local and regional authorities in the northern part of the Dutch coastal conurbation comprising 36 local authorities, the city region of Amsterdam and the provincial executives of Noord-Holland and Flevoland. MRA has announced the joint pledge of becoming “energy-neutral” as a region by the year 2040: by then, the region’s entire energy consumption is to be sustainably generated within the same region. The Route Map drawn up by MRA describes how these aspirations are to be achieved.

To this end, current energy consumption patterns were first quantified. The options for energy conservation and renewable energy generation was then assessed and ranked in order of cost-effectiveness, with economic and employment impacts also being duly considered. If the aspirations are indeed realised, ultimate cost savings on fossil-based energy in the region will amount to some three billion Euro annually.

While these aspirations are certainly feasible, the platform has made it clear that major efforts will be required. One key element is to ensure there is sufficient support among both citizens and the business community. The Route Map sets out the steps that need to be taken in the short as well as longer term and the parties that will need to be involved. The focus is on elements on which collaboration under the MRA umbrella will have distinct added value or is even essential. The Route Map also includes a joint agenda for lobbying both the national government and the EU. A number of iconic projects are furthermore described, designed to provide tangible evidence of the value of collaboration to society at large.