Systems study on Zuid-Holland energy infrastructure

This study is concerned with the infrastructure used for supplying electricity, gas (methane (natural gas, green gas) and hydrogen), heat and also CO2. Five scenarios were used to assess the impact of the energy transition on (current) energy infrastructure and the solutions and developments needed to realise the energy transition in Zuid-Holland province. For 2030 a single scenario was run, based on the national Climate Agreement, including Regional Energy Strategies. For 2050 several scenarios were taken, embodying different routes to climate neutrality in 2050, to determine the impact on the energy system. These are not blueprints for how to get there, but explorations of potential developments, together defining the playing field within which the energy system will develop.

Aggregate energy demand in 2050 varies in the scenarios from 9% reduction to 27% growth compared with the present, with major systemic changes taking place:

  • Policy-driven CO2 emissions reduction means less demand for natural gas, which is replaced by other energy carriers.
  • Despite improved energy efficiency, electricity demand rises substantially in all scenarios owing to electrification of mobility, industry and a portion of heat demand.
  • There are huge changes in power generation, with major ‘offshore wind’ potential moving onto land on the ‘Maasvlakte’ near Rotterdam and growing use of solar PV and onshore wind.
  • Heat demand will be met partly by collective heat grids, use of which will grow markedly to very substantially, depending on the scenario, particularly in the built environment and greenhouse horticulture.

All these changes have infrastructure impacts. The changing energy system will require more – and more diverse – infrastructure (and consequently investments), increased flexibility to cater for growing imbalance, more land use and also innovation and appropriate legislation.

The study was carried out by CE Delft, Quintel and TNO and was commissioned by Zuid-Holland provincial executive, Stedin and Rotterdam Port Authority.



Dorine van der Vlies, Roos de Kok, Alexander Wirtz (Quintel)

Sebastiaan Hers, Jasper Donker, Osmar Usmani (TNO)