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World Sustainable Energy Day 2023

Energy is in a crisis - Who are you going to call?

Sustainable energy is a very difficult topic. The energy system is the most complex system we have ever built. How to transform this? How to work with all stakeholders involved and create concrete solutions?

People feel frustrated by the complexity of the sector and it seems impossible sometimes to solve anything. It takes a crazy amount of Passion, Preparation and Perseverance to accomplish anything really in sustainable energy. As a result, things are moving slowly and we are not even close to meeting our high-levels targets such as a 55% reduction of CO2 emissions in 2030 in Europe.

Is there a way forward? I think there is. The more and more I work in this field, the more I see an opportunity and an inevitable conclusion. It all evolves around the word ‘Co.’. Let me give you some ideas based on recent work.

Front view from electric ferry - GVB


Energy Hubs

Net congestion in Amsterdam is currently stifling the use and growth of sustainable electricity. The question is: are we able to run electric ferries in the future - which is foreseen for 2024? Are we able to move businesses from fossil fuel to fully electric? Are we able to develop energy neutral neighbourhoods?


The outcome of a co-creation process for the City of Amsterdam has been the design of a local Cooperative, and new roles within the city, which will deal effectively with local grid capacity planning and management. Invited to the process were the City of Amsterdam, public transport companies, the grid operator, and various topic experts. Currently the results are being implemented.


Read the full case here.


Business Parks Unlocked

Four thousand business areas in The Netherlands have a long waiting list for new connections to the electrical grid. How to solve a national waiting list, whilst thinking outside the box? We were tasked with finding answers which did not involve simply laying more cables..

In a co-creation programme hosted by Alliander, leading parties in the Dutch market were invited to be part of a Coalition which had the task to come up with new innovative solutions to relief business parks, ready for market implementation in one year. Part of the co-creation process were utility companies, grid operators, technology providers and end users. In 2023, the solutions are being put together by the various parties involved.


Read the full case here.



Affordable Local Energy

Energy poverty is a huge problem. Global market developments have spiked local prices. Households have a difficult time to make ends meet. Whilst commercial companies can not - or will not - help people, people running their own energy Communities can offer local energy cost-plus, thus keeping price hikes at a minimum level. How can we make this happen?


In a Coalition design project for Rabobank, a blueprint was developed for a collaboration between local parties and institutions to boost local Energy Communities. The end result will be a platform to support, strengthen and accelerate local energy community growth. As we speak, this Coalition is being built in a follow up stage. One important aspect of the new Coalition is a focus on diversity of parties involved - in order to really represent a city or community.


Read the full case here.



Lastly, on this World Sustainable Energy Day, I would like to invite you to take a moment and reflect on your own work through the following questions: Have you invited people outside your own organisation in your processes? Have you considered setting up new organisations in new ways? Have you thought about alternative ways to govern new businesses? Did you consider thinking outside the box and try something new?


Curious to learn how to apply our co-creation method yourself? Have a look at our e-course here!

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