Successful Energy Island Goeree-Overflakkee Congress
More than 370 guests allowed themselves to be informed on and inspired by sustainable innovations in the care, food, housing and mobility industries on the Energy Island Goeree-Overflakkee.
Goeree-Overflakkee Energy Island will be energy-neutral in 2020, which means that in time, the island will have a surplus of energy. The question, what could be done with that, and more importantly, what is done about it, was the reason for the Energy Island congress. The congress inspired its visitors with key-note speakers Maarten Steinbuch (professor at the Technical University Eindhoven), Bernard Wientjes (professor at the University of Utrecht and chairman of the Taskforce Bouwagenda), and Steven van Eijck (former state secretary of Finance and President of the RAI Association). The King's Commissioner Jaap Smit closed the congress, at which time he emphasised the importance of the collaboration of the regional authorities and the partners, and announced the signing of the green hydrogen covenant. A good example of the collaboration of various partners on a sustainable future for The Netherlands.
During sub-sessions, experts on sustainability and innovation were heard. Closer attention was given to technological care innovations, that could play a part in keeping the care affordable and close to home. Sustainable living and building, sustainable mobility and a more sustainable food industry - all of major importance in the energy transition - were discussed in detail, as were possible future transport options, optimal sustainabilization of new and existing construction, gas-free builds, and sustainabilization of the food industry. The purpose: to reduce the use of fossil fuels and to promote The Netherlands’ transition into a CO2-neutral society.
The Province of Zuid-Holland has earmarked Goeree-Overflakkee as testing ground for sustainable innovations in the energy transition. For instance, large-scale on-shore solar power parks, but also innovative green hydrogen projects. Green hydrogen can be produced from the surplus in sustainable energy. Hydrogen will play an important part in energy transition, in energy management, mobility, and in the sustainabilization of raw materials. The development of hydrogen greening routes is key to our economy and to the reduction of CO2 emissions.
Research shows that a green hydrogen economy on Goeree-Overflakkee is likely to succeed. The green hydrogen economy on Goeree-Overflakkee is an interesting example at a national level. On 8 December 2017, 28 national and international private, public and semi-public parties signed the very first green hydrogen covenant. The parties will work to research promising economic projects and where possible realise these in a programme-based manner, such as the possible uses of green hydrogen in shipping and transport. The regional 'green’ hydrogen covenant was initiated by the Provinice of Zuid-Holland and the Municipality of Goeree-Overflakkee, and came about on the advice of Steven van Eijck. To assist the signing parties in the implementation of the projects, the Province of Zuid-Holland and the Municipality of Goeree-Overflakkee appointed Mr Pedro Peters, former RET director and chairman of the ONVL, as quartermaster. Mr Peters will start the work on the organisation structure and the start of the projects in the next few months.