How to include climate issues such as the need for cooling in the energy transition

How does one link climate adaptation and the energy transition? Read about it in the interview with the regional ministers Energy and Climate Adaptation held earlier this month, and view the tips and examples.

“Link your plans for the transition to cleaner energy to the measures and make your region climate proof. That prevents double investments, double inconvenience, and nasty surprises in the future.”

This is the advice given by Regional Ministers Berend Potjer (Energy Transition) Adri Bom-Lemstra (Health and Safety). “The increased demand for cooling in particular is often neglected.”

Opportunities to ‘piggyback’ already exist

“Many municipalities are already preparing plans in which climate adaptation, energy transition and circular economy meet”, says Regional Minister Adri Bom-Lemstra. “The realisation that investments should be linked, is there. But the increasing demand for cooling as a result of the rise in temperature often is not taken into account yet.”
From her Health and Safety portfolio, Adri Bom-Lemstra is working on plans to prepare Zuid-Holland for extreme weather such as drought, heat and water nuisance. “We know that the climate will change, even if we limit global warming. We are currently preparing ourselves to ensure a healthy and safe living environment in the future as well. Roads, houses and infrastructure may require adaptation.
It would be great if we could perform all necessary work in one go. That saves nuisance and money. That is why it is smart to see whether the work on the energy transition can be combined with the work on climate adaptation. That is what we call “piggybacking opportunities”. It is already on the agenda of many municipalities, but when making choices regarding your energy system, it is advisable to keep climate adaptation in mind as well.”

Affordable and reliable

“As a Province, we want our energy supply to be sustainable, affordable and reliable”, says Regional Minister Berend Potjer. “That is why it is important that we invest future proof. The demand for cooling, for instance, is an important future development to be considered when drafting a Regional Energy Strategy. How can we arrange cooling in a smart way, without the need for massive quantities of additional energy? We will save a lot of energy if we take measures aimed at both heat and cold both on a large scale and in our own home.

Linking climate adaptation and energy transition offers even more opportunities. We want to consider the landscape in Zuid-Holland as well. That is why we aim for smart, multi-purpose use of space as much as possible. For example: business parks tend to be heat-islands with their black roofs. You can sort that by combining solar panels with green roofs and water storage. That way you generate energy and ensure cooling. In the coming period, the Province will work on making business parks ‘greener’ and will launch an incentive scheme for large-roof solar panels. That is how we are working on an integrated approach.”