The energy transition is a complex system change. To be able to have a sustainable energy system in place by 2050, we need to do more than simply replace fossil fuels with renewable energy generation. The transition requires significant energy savings, a change in behaviour, greater flexibility in energy supply and demand and a clear sequence in the transition process. We are helping our customers to make choices that enable a reliable, affordable and accessible sustainable energy system. This lets us handle energy efficiently and flexibly and reduce demand for scarce space, materials and resources. We are doing so by investing in mobilising changes in behaviour and greater energy awareness. We are raising energy awareness among our customers and in society at large by providing information that end users can use to make choices which benefit the energy network. The majority of end users actively help optimise energy consumption, generation and storage for the benefit of the public interest. One of the areas we are investigating is behind-the-meter energy management, to enable the increasingly flexible capacity behind individual meters to be optimised and used with no loss of comfort for the customer. Moreover, we help municipalities and provincial authorities with energy-related spatial planning so that system-efficient spatial design choices can be made at the regional level and transition pathways can be developed with a focus on optimum use of energy carriers and solutions within the energy system.
Noord-Holland-Noord is one of the regions where we are developing integrated programming for the energy system of the future. As such, this region is leading the rest of the country. In conjunction with public authorities and other stakeholders, we went through a process in design studios where we designed the energy system of the future, taking the existing sectoral spatial plans and future scenarios for the energy system as our starting point. We presented the intermediate results in the summer of 2022: these form the basis for an assessment framework for public authorities that will help them to set priorities when expanding energy networks and for other spatial developments. For example, network expansions which simultaneously solve several local bottlenecks or which enable residential construction can be tackled ahead of other projects. In addition, an initial elaboration has been performed of development pathways for the five hotspots in the region, looking into how the energy system in an area like this could evolve in the coming years. The development pathways describe the region in 2035 and the route to get there, including significant decision points. In this process, we contribute our knowledge of the energy system and help public authorities to take control of important assessments and decisions about the energy system of the future in their regions.