Renewable energy in Amsterdam: opportunities on the horizon

Amsterdam has announced its intention to cut back its CO2 emissions significantly, by 40% in 2025 relative to emissions in 1990. This ambitious target requires action on multiple fronts. One of these involves an increase in the amount of renewable energy used in the city. In a recent study CE Delft explored the issue of how much potential is available. On 5 June, 2008 the results were presented by alderwoman Marijke Vos. The study calculates that renewable energy sources can provide a substantial share of the primary energy used in Amsterdam, mainly via power generation from biomass and wind and recuperation of waste heat. Compared with the forecast of 83.8 PJ in 2025, the potential is around 17 PJ, or 20%. This is far above the EU target of 14% renewables in the Netherlands in 2020. This renewable energy is another source of CO2 emissions reduction. Including two other options, the projected savings add up to around 1,170 kt, which is about 30% of the reduction required to secure the target of 2,500 kt CO2. The calculated potential is based on what is held to be the ‘maximum feasible’. To achieve this will require a (very) major effort. This holds particularly for aspirations with respect to district heat grids, solar energy and micro-cogeneration. On the other hand, technological advances will lead to prices falling and market penetration increasing.

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