The route to municipal energy neutrality
Strategies for an energy-neutral Delft

The aim of this study is to provide insight into the strategies available to make  the City of Delft energy-neutral and outline the potential policy consequences of such a move. The project was specifically designed to facilitate discussions within the municipal council, with a series of workshops being organised to which councillors were also invited. This report discusses the motives for pursuing energy neutrality and the ensuing consequences and examines how efforts will depend on  policies at the national and EU level as well as on the level of participation by local stakeholders (private citizens, businesses, NGOs). 

The envisaged strategy comprises two main elements: 

  1. A ‘bedrock’ common to any strategy regardless of how it is further elaborated, comprising a programme geared mainly towards energy conservation and heat distribution grids. The greatest gains will derive from improved energy efficiency, which at the same time involves the least risks. It is pivotal that this bedrock be robust and that due political efforts be made to maintain it under successive administrations. Another element of this basic programme is to provide a good example, by improving the energy efficiency of existing municipal buildings, among other things, and communicating the rationale to the citizenry and business community by means of broad-based and recurrent information campaigns. Once this track has proved sufficiently successful, the focus of municipal policy can gradually shift towards renewable power generation.
  2. As a superstructure to this bedrock, a further policy package that will depend on the colour successive administrations and municipal councils decide to give it. For orientation in this regard, three scenarios were elaborated:
  • Green Delft;
  • United Delft; and
  • Innovative Delft.