Amsterdam wants to be gas-free by 2040. KIT Royal Tropical Institute is one of the pioneers in achieving this ambition. Together with four major parties in Amsterdam East, KIT signed a declaration of intent to jointly generate and exchange sustainable energy. At a later stage, other neighbours can easily join the collective.
Sustainability is deeply rooted in KIT’s DNA. “We do everything to reduce the energy consumption in our building,” says Louis van den Berghe, Head of Finance & Operations. “In addition, we also want to make our energy sustainable with local energy generation and heat and cold exchange. We are happy that Artis, the Municipal Real Estate, KIT and the OLVG have come together in this common goal.”
A sustainable solution for our own energy demand
Three years ago, KIT asked one of its tenants, De Groene Grachten, to think about sustainable solutions to its own energy demand. “We mainly have a heat demand. But in the summer, we have a cold demand for the museum,” says Van den Berghe. “How can we best manage that? De Groene Grachten assisted us with this question. We visited the OLVG hospital to see how they deal with this issue. Their technical manager said: ‘look at a cold / heat network.’ And that’s how the ball started rolling. “
Soon KIT ran into infrastructure problems. “There was no heat network in our area. And it turned out that the Nuon was not planning to do anything about this for the time being. There is a heat network on the Oostelijke Eilanden, but that is very far away from us. Making a connection would be far too expensive. We thought it would be worthwhile to see if we could get together with several parties and then connect it to the network of the Oostelijke Eilanden. Together you stand stronger. The Groene Grachten started to work out the idea and generated a lot of enthusiasm for it among a number of large organisations in Central and Eastern Amsterdam.”
In the end, the aforementioned parties decided to join forces. On 27 September, 2019, the representatives signed a declaration of intent. Everyone is now working on the next level: a joint solution to the heat demand, which considers energy generation from surface water and geothermal energy. In addition, the group must also examine the financial feasibility. The Municipality of Amsterdam, De Groene Grachten, network manager Firan and Waternet are supporting this effort. Van den Berghe: “We are very satisfied. We have taken the first step.”