The backstage of the energy transition: a learnful series about real-life interventions

We need to get our act together. We need to reduce our CO2 emissions. And we need to get rid of fossil fuels. And so the public debate is about whether or not we really need to. And at what pace. And whether that is even possible.

We prefer to approach it from a different angle. How can we provide a smart contribution to a sustainable society where resources and sources of energy are reused. Because the possibilities are awe-inspiring!

Together with our partners, we are working on heat networks. Reusing heat from data centres. And we are even working on a CO2 Smart Grid where CO2 is utilised as a resource for the circular economy.

It can be done.

And others are also contributing a great deal when it comes to realising new value chains. Without stopping to wonder whether it is necessary and what is the most prudent pace. It can be done. Petrus Postma, founding partner of BLOC, wrote a series of columns about this. You can read them here over the coming weeks. They are also an invitation to increase our efforts with regards to the circular economy.

Make it happen. Join us!

#1 The inevidability of the energy transition

Never before have I seen the world change so dramatically in such a short period of time in terms of our energy supply. Since 2015, the files, events and newsflashes are bursting from the seams.

Paris: we need to get rid of our CO2 emissions. Van Gas Los: we need to get rid of fossil fuels. Coalition agreement: if we would all be so kind as to reduce our CO2 emissions by 56 million tonnes. Groningen: we all need to leave the gas reserves in Groningen alone.

That’s quite something.

Meanwhile, good news messages are battling for bandwidth. We created a rock that stores more CO2 than it took to produce it. We are going to bring residual heat from data centres to a swimming pool, residential areas and heat networks. We will create a mega-heat network in Zuid-Holland. We are going to store CO2 in empty fields beneath the North Sea. Wind at sea no longer require government funding. Perfect.

The problem is, all those innovative projects are barely scratching the surface compared to our total energy consumption (including transportation and resource consumption).

My proposition; the energy transition is inevitable and will have a tremendous impact on all business processes imaginable. It’s just that we aren’t really feeling the consequences yet so it seems like we are doing just fine. We are not doing fine at all!

And a little bit of greenwashing isn’t going to get us there. Buying green energy with a couple of certificates? Not enough. Solar panels on your roof? A nice gesture, but practically insignificant. We will have to learn to think in terms of chains and resources, true circularity.

What is true circularity?

What is true circularity? In essence it means that each stream currently treated as waste, gets a new application as a resource. So, we end up using only those streams and resources that continue adding value in a new application afterwards. This also implies a completely different perception of value. Instead of writing off or disposing of ‘waste’ materials, we need to learn to think in terms of sustainable value chains.

A trip down the inevitability of the energy transition

In these series, I hope to take you on a trip down the inevitability of the energy transition and its impact. Based on a number of concrete cases (from the world of data centres and other industries) I want to demonstrate that this transition is founded on completely different economic models and therefore is very difficult to get off the ground. And yet it does have a particularly valuable proposition to offer, including for your own business. We will be taking a close look at the world of data centre cooling over the coming months. How you can feed your data centre with green energy, supply the residual heat to third parties and get free cooling in return. And the hiccups you will encounter along the way.

Interesting times!

This is the start of a series about the energy transition that will be published here in the coming weeks.


BLOC - Next Generation Development

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BLOC develops pioneering concepts and projects. Never limited in societal relevance or ambition, we set a new standard for sustainable and circular development.

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