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Edition 13 | April 2014 | Retail price â‚Ź 5,50

Daan Roosgaarde

A Conversation

with a Happy Infiltrator And other entrepreneurs in the energy revolution... Smart City Special


Abundance vs Scarcity What will be left in the future?


Dessert Power with Paul van Son

Gas Innovations Inspiring Clean Energy

International Gas Union Research Conference

September 17-19, 2014 Tivoli Congress Center Copenhagen

......gas will play an increasing role in the future energy mix, and technology will be the key to the future business model for gas growth.......


New energy gases and their future role Gas and renewables in combination Utilisation of the gas infrastructure Gas-to-power and Power-to-gas The LNG revolution Shale gas

Read more and sign up for IGRC2014 Newsletter on

Under the auspices of IGU - organised by Danish Gas Technology Centre

Circulation distribution Partners of Energy Academy Europe Partners of Energy Valley Partners of the International NRG Battle Partners of Kivi Niria University of Groningen Hanze University of Applied Sciences TU Delft TU Eindhoven TU Twente Companies in the Energy Sector Municipalities in the Netherlands Province of Groningen Energy Events ( NRG Magazine is published 4 times a year Publisher TTA World P.O. Box 1746 9701 BS Groningen The Netherlands Kraneweg 13-7 9718 JC Groningen Tel.: +31 50 317 14 75 Fax.: +31 50 317 14 72 Editor-in-Chief Cristina Huré Editor Mariia Stolyga Designer Giscard van Uytrecht Assistant Designers Ashley Marie de Jong-Doucette Mathijs Smits Sales Rob Hogenelst, Director Sales Tel: +31 50 317 14 70 Printer Veldhuis Media Photography Giscard van Uytrecht

Photo by Alexa Bar

Magazine Circulation 7.500 per edition



f there’s one thing in life I can’t live without, it’s healthy and positive change. I’ve always felt the need to feed this desire for change, and my curiosity for new adventures so when I got the editorial team to agree that NRG Magazine was in need of “something different”, you can imagine how excited I was to start reinventing. We needed something fresh, something young and something bold. You’ll notice the difference throughout the entire magazine, from the design to the writing style, to the themes we’ve chosen to cover, focused on THE ENERGY REVOLUTION. Why not write about the energy revolution while NRG Magazine has also been revolutionized, eh? As a Canadian, you'll have to forgive me while I let my “eh” out. Actually, we chose to focus on the energy revolution for more reason than having it fit perfectly with the revolutionized magazine. The time is now, but “now” only lasts one second before we run into the next second, which actually means the future. It’s true, people are much happier living in the moment but we also can’t forget that those moments become the future very quickly and in order to be happy and prosperous in the future, we still have to think about what’s yet to come. When you think about what’s yet to come, do you see why now is the time to change? We know we haven’t been A+ citizens when it comes to treating our environment well so why do we do the same things over and over again, before deciding it’s time to change? Are we expecting different results? Because if we are, it’s safe to say we’re all insane. But we’re not (at least I hope), so NRG Magazine is dedicated to the energy revolution to offer you inspiration to create that change that is needed. You won’t be alone, though – there are plenty of young entrepreneurs and other innovators driving the change with you. Don’t believe me? Just read the magazine and don’t forget about us online at! Now, for those who know you don’t have to go very far to inspire change, welcome to the energy revolution. Enjoy the ride.

Editor's Choice Daan Roosegarde, featured in our cover story - it’s a must read! I had a chance to interview him, and figure out what makes him tick. He calls himself a “hippie with a business plan,” creating interactive designs that are environmentally friendly just as much as they are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious aka, “awesome.”

Cover photo Courtesy of Studio Roosegaarde Contact For subscriptions to NRG Magazine or ideas for future editions of the magazine, please contact: No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The publisher and authors do not accept liability for damages of any nature whatsoever, resulting from actions and decisions based on the information in this magazine. This issue is produced with the utmost care.


CHuré -Cristina Huré,


16. Abundance vs. Scarcity

Debating the future of energy: what can we expect in the future?

18. A Conversation with a Happy Infiltrator

Studio Roosegarde Revolutionizing the Energy World


Revolutionizing Lighting Walking into the Light with Tvilight

26. Revolutionizing Hydro Energy 24/7 with Bluerise

28. Revolutionizing Processes 22. Revolutionizing Solar Solar for All with

Let's Talk Energy (-20%) Energy Reductions with Water & Energy Solutions

April 2014 30. Where the Innovation Incubates Ideas Coming to Life with Rockstart

34. Dr.Finance Tells All Q&A Financing in Startups

36. Building the Joint 42. Propelling Energy System the Smart Grid Expert Section with Robbin van der Linde Movement TKI S2SG and Frits Verheij


Leading in Smart Grids CGI and and Jos Siemons


What's Been Hiding in the Desert? Back to the Future with Paul van Son


Time for a Revolution in Energy

Ramez Naam is a former Microsoft executive, computer scientist and award winning author of four books. His career at Microsoft of 13 years has allowed him to work on cutting edge technologies as Partner and Director of Program Management. With his expertise, Ramez has charted a course to meet natural resource challenges of climate energy, water and food from a technological perspective, found in his book The Infinite Resource. Also the founder of Apex NanoTechnologies, he has worked with the company to develop software tools to accelerate molecular design and now holds 19 patents for several technological categories: search engines, information retrieval, web browsing, artificial intelligence and machine learning. He currently serves as Adjunct Faculty at Singularity University. This year, NRG Magazine is proud to have all editions introduced by key players and big thinkers in the energy domain.


he world is in a unique position, on the cusp of never-beforeseen prosperity or unprecedented ecosystem and natural resource disruption. The single most important variable to the outcome is how fast we can revolutionize the ways that we gather, transport, store, and consume energy. We live in the most prosperous age humanity has ever known. A smaller percentage of humanity lives in poverty than ever before. A smaller fraction of the world’s population is hungry or malnourished than ever before. Our lives are longer than ever. We enjoy more living space, more possibility of transportation, more availability of communication, entertainment, and information than any other generation. We owe a tremendous amount of that prosperity to the revolution in energy that started in the mid-1800s. The immense concentration of energy found in fossil fuels allowed us to quickly accomplish tremendous feats, catapulting our civilization foreword. We owe the innovators who learned to tap into those fuels an enormous debt of gratitude. Yet those fossil fuels must be phased out if we’re to avoid the gravest consequences of climate change. Between now and 2050 – a rather short 36 years - instead of nearly doubling the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions (the business as usual path) we must instead cut them by 80%. This is a staggering challenge. And we must meet it while simultaneously increasing energy access around the world, in particular for the more than 1 Billion people in the developing world who today lack access to electricity or any modern form of energy. The basic energy accounting of the planet makes it clear that there is abundant energy for us to tap into. The sun strikes the earth with roughly 5,000x as much energy as we use. Less than half a percent of the earth’s land area would suffice to meet all of humanity’s energy needs. The limit isn’t the size of the resource. The limit is our ingenuity in capturing that resource, storing it, and getting it to where it’s needed, and when it’s needed. All of which must be done at a very low price.

The Infinite Resource addresses several challenges we encounter in the 21st century: how to feed and power a world of 9 to 10 billion people living comfortable lives while preserving or restoring our ecological heritage.

In this world of multiple challenges, what we need are more ideas, more talented innovators to produce them, and policies that reward both innovation and the practical deployment of those innovations. The future isn’t going to look like the past. It’s up to us to decide if it’s going to look sadly worse – or immeasurably better.

Ramez Naam NRG Magazine 7

TTA World |Revolutionizing Teams


Dream Teams

The Predictive Power of Talent @ TTA World

According to TTA World’s consultants, the most important question to ask is: “what should the team’s goals and results be?” TTA world integrates its expertise on Quinn’s framework on effective organizations (competing values) where culture and personality (the Big Five) correlates with Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and strategic goals.

Personality Schedule

Aside from testing and scanning individuals, an even more important question tackled is how to build the most effective teams? TTA World constructs high-performing teams for corporations that want to accelerate. Geertje Dam (CEO@TTA World) explains: “What if you had the luxury of selecting the best of the best in the world, with the right combination of talents, skills and expertise. Who would you pick to build your dream team? Think about it… it is so complex, yet so simple. TTA’s answer lies in the world of big data and predictive analysis – selecting the most effective team for the job becomes a piece of cake.” 8 NRG Magazine

Young professionals and global talents from the top 100 universities sign up for innovation competitions TTA World organizes. “We scan, compare and rank the talents on a daily basis so we can guarantee their quality and added value - that is why our competitions stand out from the crowd and have these great success stories (see page 11-15). We also advise corporations on how to build excellent teams - ones that will add the value they need.” If the team needs to come up with disruptive and new ideas, you should have the power of the innovator, regulator and go-getter in your team. In many successful startup teams, if comprised of two people, you see the strong and productive combination of a strategist with a go-getter or an entrepreneur with regulator. Building successful businesses is all about building strong and high-performing teams. Build or load your teams with extraordinary powerful people that help you get the results you want! Contact for more information on what TTA World can do for you.

Rubriek naam |Naam bedrijf Corporate Identity Model (CIM) Rubriek naam |Naam bedrijf

Socializer The “socializer” is focused on cooperation and connecting with others. “Socializers” consider it important to have a good atmosphere and stimulate and support their team members.

Inspirator The “inspirator” is the strong combination of the "innovator" and "socializer" talent. “Inspirators” combine openmindedness of ideas with a desire to share these ideas with others. They inspire people through sharing their clear visions of the future.



Facilitator The “facilitator” is the strong combination of the "regulator" and "socializer" talent. “Facilitators” prefer to analyze their available data and return to the group with a concise analysis. They avoid risk taking and focus on long-term relationships and continuity.

Strategist The “strategist” is a rare talent with a strong combination of the "innovator" and "regulator" talent. “Strategists” look at future possibilities and trends in an abstract way and at the same time they focus on today’s facts and figures. “Strategists” take calculated risks and pursue controlled innovation.

Entrepreneur The “entrepreneur” is the strong combination of the innovator and go getter talent. “Entrepreneurs” see challenges and new markets and act on them quickly. Their focus is outside of the company and combines a futuristic vision with a drive to succeed short term, while engaging with external parties and ideas.




Regulator The “regulator” appreciates control, efficiency and brings structure. "Regulators” like controllable sets of methods for working and bring dedication, reliability and improvement to the table.


The “innovator” loves to create, is curious and is focused on the future. “Innovators'” center of attention is on changing the world and generating groundbreaking new ideas and abstract concepts which makes them visionaries.

Manager The “manager” is the strong combination of the regulator and go-getter talent. “Managers” manage situations, they combine their analytical skills with a decisive result orientation.

Multi-talent The "multi-talent" is unique. These people are high-potentials because they combine the "innovator", "regulator", "go-getter" and socializer talent. They are situational leaders. Does the situation call for quick and decisive action? They will push for results. Are you having trouble generating new ideas? They will bring you new and exciting ideas. Because of their ability to shift effectively they also bring out the best in others. They are often referred to as ‘master managers’ (Quinn) and have great potential and are situational leaders.

The “go-getter” focuses on results and output and loves competition and challenges. “Go-getters” have a strong drive to score and will always negotiate with external parties. They are action minded and always on the move, “walking the talk."

Leader The “leader” is a rare talent with a strong combination of the "go-getter" and "socializer" talent. “Leaders” lead people, they love to work with them in a social and supportive manner and at the same time, convince others to focus on reaching short-term results. “Leaders” understand how to balance the delicate line between (individual) results and team spirit.

NRG Magazine 9

TTA World |Revolutionizing Teams

How do our

entrepreneurs measure up? As young energy entrepreneurs are the center of attention for this edition of NRG Magazine, we asked ourselves: just how entrepreneurial are our entrepreneurs? So, we put them to the test. Check out what we found!

Ramez Naam


Paul Gilding


ENTREPRENEUR Daan Roosegaarde


Patrick van der Meulen

p. 22-23

Aaldrik Haijer

p. 28-29

Jurrian Knijtijzer

Berend Jan Kleute




10 NRG Magazine

Read on for our NRG Battle Success Stories!

NRG Battle Success Stories

Beyond the Battle: Kick-starting the

Energy Revolution The NRG Battle does not only offer a chance to meet, compete and innovate (and great prizes, of course) but it also opens the doors to a promising future in energy, and the opportunity to meet people who will open these doors or become lifelong friends. For corporations, the Battle offers a chance to kick-start their R&D and facilitates the process of bringing transformational ideas forward. Following the Battle sessions, TTA World helps teams stay connected to their leaders in order to bring those ideas to the actual market. This section features those winning teams who have been able to gain more than an award, and bring their Battle experience to another level. Have a look at the aftermath of NRG Battle 2013 for team Fujifilm with their Blue Battery solution, team Rosen with their base load concept for offshore wind parks and team Liander with their cloud farming solution.


Creating the Future of Energy Storage


n October 2nd 2013, all were gathered at the second preliminary round of NRG Battle to solve Fujifilm’s new challenge. They worked on an electricity storage solution and investigated if the combination of the Electro Dialysis process (ED) and the Reverse Electro Dialysis process (RED) is a suitable combination to act as a battery. The team developed a system that enables electricity from solar panels to be stored. Fujifilm’s involvement with the NRG Battle dates back to 2012 with their Blue Energy (BE) case and the same RED technology, asking their former team to come up with a solution to position BE alongside other renewable technologies deriving from solar wind or bio fuels. In 2012, Fujifilm’s team won the NRG Battle with their blue energy solution and closed-loop box system. Blue Energy 2012 Solution

Team Fujifilm, in 2012, created a unique, self-sustaining, closed-loop system that uses waste heat and RED to create blue energy. Their solution was innovative as they were the first to think of producing blue energy in a closed-loop system. Blue energy was typically created using natural sources such as the river and sea water, but the team discovered that any kind of salt concentrate can be used to generate a greater amount of electricity. On top of that, because the system was placed in a protective box, this also tackled the problem of dirty membranes when using water from nature. The solution itself became highly competitive as they were able to align this energy source with other renewable sources in the market. To top it off, this game-changing solution is currently awaiting patent approval which was requested in 2012!

Team Fujifilm making the documentary about their blue energy innovation. Photo courtesy of Green Dreams Productions

NRG Magazine 11

NRG Battle Success Stories

Blue Battery 2013 Solution

The Blue Battery can potentially hold the future of energy storage. Batteries were invented a long time ago, but they have not yet been made sustainable and they’ve also used heave metals and scarce resources. The Blue Battery enables electricity from solar panels or any other energy source to be stored, by using the combination of ED and RED processes. This energy source is used to create electrical potential across the ionexchange membranes. How does it work? With the Blue Battery, water with a certain salt concentration is pumped into a system and flows alongside the membranes. If there is an electrical potential across the membranes, the water stream will be separated into two streams - one stream of low salt concentration and the other of high salt concentration (ED). It is also possible to reverse this process, by combining the stream having a low salt concentration with the stream that has a high salt concentration, to generate an electrical potential (RED). In term of efficiency, the Battery store ~ 3kWh/m3 of power, and has an output ~0.5 kWh/m3, but there is large room for improvements. It will have a lifetime of around 10 years and be able to run at room temperate and pressure.

NRG Magazine had a chance to sit down with Fujifilm’s President of Manufacturing in Europe, Peter Struik and the case instructors, Bas van Berchum and Willem van Baak. The team also joined the discussion to share what each party gained from the Battle, and what upcoming plans look like. On the necessity of the NRG Battle itself: “the best ideas come from a fresh perspective and the NRG Battle offers a prime momentum to capture these ideas,” share Bas and 12 NRG Magazine

Willem. They loved working with the team as they were enthusiastic and motivated and the best part is that “they were creative, and don’t have a fixed way of thinking.” Actually, it was the first time the idea of using the Blue Battery for energy storage was put forth –something Fujifilm had not thought of yet. The team is currently aligning their perspective with Bas and Willem’s as talks continue about implementing their Blue Battery solution into the market. The innovation department at Fujifilm is evaluating the reasonable chance of success for the Blue Battery and they have offered an internship to one of the team members, Emil, to further explore the technology and how to implement it into the market. Recently, TU Delft has announced its investment in the Blue Battery idea being focused on low cost energy storage. With this investment, and Fujifilm’s collaboration, Starke, Cometti,

Goosen and Cen will work on a prototype that will determine the overall efficiency of the system and the commercial viability of the Blue Battery. There is much benefit of keeping the relationship between the team and their mentors strong: “it’s good to talk to Bas and Willem because they have another perspective on the same project. They put us back on earth with their critical attitude so that we study the project carefully before jumping off the roof.” The team entered the Battle to add something to the energy world: “We want to influence the energy world and find out where we can add something to it.” They believe that energy storage is the missing link in the energy domain and by solving Fujifilm’s case, it was their way to influence the energy world, and hopefully at a larger scale, as collaborations continue.

NRG Battle Success Stories

Jury President at NRG Battle Europe Edition:

From left to right: Ulrich Starke, Edoardo Cometti, Emil Goosen, Lisanne de Rooij, Peter Struik (President of Manufacturing in Europe), Jiajun Cen, Willem van Baak and Bas van Berchum (case instructors)

“The Blue Battery concept is a very ingenious way of converting low quality heat into electricity using a simple and very low maintenance system. Needless to say, the very fact that the Blue Battery concept emerged from the NRG battle shows not only the creativity of the students, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the participating companies but also the sheer power of the NRG Battle!” - Ton Schoot Uiterkamp -

Peter Struik: Reinventing FUJIFILM


’m not the guy who has the bright ideas. What I have to do is create the atmosphere in which they (R&D team) can do it and deal with money and the political schemes,” Peter shares. He supports team Fujifilm's investigation on the Blue Battery and certainly admires the innovators. He is also eager to bring new talents into the arena. Fujifilm currently promotes sustainability in primary schools to trigger the desire for technical education and to make students think about technical jobs at a young age. “We should teach the younger people to try to save energy and if they need to use it, do it as sustainably as possible,” says Peter. “Sustainability,” according to Peter “should always be both economically and ecologically sustainable, otherwise there’s no business

case.” “Stamina is key and you have to look at the business model first, before the technical solution,” he adds. The biggest problem in the energy market in Holland is figuring out what the business model of the future will be – some food for thought

water and clean energy,” shares Peter. The switch to sustainability came from his need to do more than make paper and offset plates. He wanted to make the world a better place. Peter continues to engage global talents to propel innovation within Fujifilm.

Seven years ago, Fujifilm started focusing on developing new business since printing photo paper became a declining business. There are currently 80 employees focusing on research and development. In his seven years as President, Peter Struik has carried on his vision of the company and added his mark within the industry: “I want the industry to remain competitive in Europe and in the Netherlands. Sustainability is a key issue which we are addressing by promoting wind turbines and now, our projects are solving issues on clean

The company is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and Peter compliments the combination of the team in the Netherlands, working with the one in Japan: “The Japanese are very good at optimizing. They’re much better at the details than we are - we are very good at the first 95% and they’re very strong in the last 5%. They are all about evolution, and we are about revolution.” With these acknowledgements, it is well understood why the international scope of the NRG Battle seems like a perfect match for Fujifilm.

NRG Magazine 13

NRG Battle Success Stories

Team Liander

Empowering Farmers with Green Data Storage


iander’s case focused on finding a solution to transport the 30% of excess electricity produced by PV energy on farms, back to the grid. Normally, in order to transport that energy throughout the grid, Liander distribution system would be installed for € 100 000. Team Liander’s goal was to find a solution to transport that energy without the cost and new transport lines. The result: Cloud Farming! Cloud farming refers to the process of using excess energy to power data storage centers in the form of clouds. Each farm would be equipped with individual servers, connected to each other and forming a cloud based data storage system, which would all be centrally controlled. The implementation of the Cloud Farming solution depends on the Netherlands to build the grid infrastructure that connects data centers together. Currently, there are no data linking cables in place (e.g. fiber optic cables) linking data centers within

From left to right: Marc Flachmann, Ramesh Prateek, Silvana Gamboa, Varun Aiyar. Missing in photo: Barend Dronkers the grid. The key strength of the solution is the high level of applicability and that energy used to power the data centers is excess energy, made useful. Furthermore, the idea to bring the data centre to the source of green energy has made the concept revolutionary. Marc explains: “usually, we use IT technology to make energy greener, but we actually thought of using the energy where it’s produced and bring the IT technology to the source and then combine it so it can be used directly where it is produced.” For farmers, the potential for Cloud Farming is huge. Farmers can use all of the solar PV energy, they can sell data storage for profit and even diversify their business. Also anticipated is the growth in demand for data. Nowadays, 60% of data lies within client storage, and in the future that 60% will lie in the clouds. This means that by 2015, data storage in clouds will be valued at € 300 million. For data service providers, should they

Cloud Farming "Cloud Farming" started with the idea that energy exists in many forms, from electrons to heat or compressed air. But one of the forms is traditionally overlooked. That is storing “data” instead of energy. With the development of social media and big data systems, it is clear that the demand for data storage is growing tremendously (more so even than energy demand in some instances). By linking the term "Data farm" to the "Cloud", our team proposed a novel business model for supplying data storage demand with a network of distributed data hubs ("Cloud Farms") running on renewable (PV) energy. This removes stress from electricity distribution networks, and converts lower value 'energy storage' into greater value “data storage.” - Barend Dronkers -

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wish to engage, the potential lies in the low connection cost and “green storage.” At a national level, the solution is interesting for governments in smart cities to be able to connect to rural areas and distribute power throughout. Now all that’s left is education – how to educate the farmers so the potential of Cloud Farming is vastly known?

Jury NRG Battle Europe Edition 2013:

“Team Liander wants to facilitate energy transition – in favour of photovoltaic (PV) panels at the roofs of agricultural production environments - and support the farmer's commitment to making the Netherlands a little more energyefficient. One of the interesting features of this concept is the high level of applicability. Also remarkable is the fact that this ICT sector challenge -the need for energy- is dealt with by the energy sector. Usually, it's the other way around.” – Roel Croes, Jury member of NRG Battle 2013 - Roel Croes -

NRG Battle Success Stories


From left to right: Koen Hermans, Davide Garufi, Bedashrita Chattoraj, Gautham Ram. Missing in photo: Ankit Agarwal


ho ever thought that sand can be turned into energy? Well, team ROSEN did and took the win this past year at the NRG Battle 2013, with their solution to use elemental silicon as an energy carrier. For this solution they even came up with three business models for Silicon (Si) power: (1) using Si as a base load energy source (2) selling the byproducts of Si (3) distributing Silicon power for heating houses or industrial smelting. This blew the jury’s minds – they knew about the conversion process but never thought about turning the carbon based economy to a Si based economy which would create “CO2 free energy on demand.” The solution is feasible, since Si is safe and cheap to transport and there is a low space requirement as Si has a high energy density.

The Key to Success “One of the key strengths of our team was the way in which we were able to reinvent ourselves, bravely,” shares Bedashrita, on behalf of the team. The Battle has allowed them to gain more confidence and network with different experts from educational institutions, companies, research organizations and governments. “Due to our victory, we have received great publicity - online and in print - which affirms that Europe is not only passionate about bringing young minds into problem solving in the energy sector, but help them grow professionally,” shares the team. The group remains in constant contact with their case instructors, Marc Baumeister (ROSEN Technology & Research Center) and Marten van der Rijst (ROSEN Europe), while the company investigates their interest to further invest in the idea or on intellectual property rights. In Italy, team ROSEN received such widespread

The Silicon Solution First, the solution included using elemental silicon as an energy carrier to form a buffer in the energy system. The excess electrical power from renewable sources can in this way be used to convert sand (Silica, SiO2) to elemental silicon. The silicon can then be burned like coal to produce a base-load power and is clean since burning silicon does not produce any carbon dioxide and instead, produces silica. Furthermore, there is abundant availability of sand around the globe and safe storage possibilities of silicon make the proposition attractive. Silicon and silica have the potential of producing hydrogen from water and industrially vital compounds, e.g. ammonia and glass, to add. Excess renewable energy is fed into the production of silicon from where it can be converted back to base-load power. With the world reeling from excess carbon dioxide, the team has proposed a shift: from a carbon based to a silicon based economy

Turning Deserts into Gold with Silicon Power media attention that they were invited to pitch the solution in Palermo to industry and government staff. The team is in processes of finalizing collaborations with ROSEN, academia and other companies supporting the idea in the next few months. They are planning first to see the solution in a lab before scaling the process to an industrial level. Will it only be a matter of time before we see a Silicon based economy? At last, it seems the energy revolution is under way! Jury NRG Battle Europe Edition 2013:

“The base load concept for offshore wind parks by team ROSEN is based upon the highly innovative idea of using Silicon as an energy carrier. They aim to achieve a carbon dioxide (CO2) neutral cycle of sand, Silica (SiO2) and water with the help of power generation by sustainable resources. The oxidation of silica is comparable to carbon, but it doesn’t produce carbon dioxide. Besides this, cheap and safe logistics, as well as the possibility to replace carbon based power plants to Silicon based power plants, contribute to a high potential breakthrough solution.” - Roel Croes -

NRG Magazine 15

Rubriek naam Abundance vs |Naam Scarcitybedrijf


What’s better than knowing fact from fiction? Energy? Plenty! newest and quirkiest developments in the ene

This time we’ve chosen to write about new wa don’t worry, we wouldn’t give it all away.

Adjiedj Bakas Trendwatcher


he world’s population grows with a net amount of 220 000 people, daily. Can we feed, clothe and provide all these people with enough energy and fresh water, without exhausting the earth? Yes, we can! Mother Earth is very generous. There are still a lot of fossil fuels available, for at least 1-2 centuries. Oil, natural gas, shale oil and shale gas, LNG: the abundance is spectacular. The 21st century will therefore later in history be called the “Age of Gas.” The gas infrastructure can easily be used for the distribution of renewable energy. Therefore gas is also a transitional energy source on our way to a sustainable future. Underground gasification of coal adds to the abundance of gas. This way we can exploit coal without all the disadvantages such as air pollution. Biogas can be transported through the current gas networks. In the UK we see the first biogas plants, which use excrements of chicken to make biogas. Fossil fuels, and especially natural gas, forms the core of tomorrow’s energy industry. The gas infrastructure can also be used to transport hydrogen energy, as we may expect this alternative source of energy to grow in the next couple of years. Energy efficiency is also on the rise. New cars may drive 1:60 within 10 years (car manufacturers like BMW are working on developing these), the energy efficiency of new houses can become much better than current ones. And the agricultural and food industry, traditionally one of the major energy users, can and will become much more energy efficient. Geothermal energy exploitation becomes feasible, as we already see in Chile and Turkey. And nuclear is not dead: thorium promises to become the successor of uranium, and new thorium power plants, based on new nuclear insights may become operational within 10-15 years from now. There is thorium in abundance, for example in India. 16 NRG Magazine

Yet we need to invest in more knowledge and scientific studies to turn the thorium promise into reality. Tidal underwater currents can also be used to generate energy.

FICTION: Sugar belongs in the kitche

David McKay shows us in his book IN FACT: It now belongs in batteries too! It’s the “Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air” that your smartphone can now run on sugar. The quest for a battery which w even if we use all the land available now for environmentally friendly and powerful has been ongoing for quite some solar installations and windmills, they still don’t researchers at Virginia Tech College seem to have put an end to it. The produce enough energy for all humanity, so Percival Zhang has developed a new kind of battery and is a solution fo we will keep needing fossil fuels in the coming concerns related to the use of regular lithium-ion ones. years. But in the long run, solar energy does have the potential to replace fossil fuels, due to The newly developed sugar battery is cheap, biodegradable and ten tim new ways of storing energy, solar cells based ficient. It is also refillable, which can be compared to a car’s fuel tank, o on graphene and many more innovations. is much friendlier to the environment. Sugar batteries that can power sm When we are able to use solar energy tablets are potentially hitting the market in the coming three years, after efficiently, the true age of the plentiful will start. clocks and other small gadgets, first. Keep your eye out! Agriculture specialists show us that we can ( easily feed 24 billion people, and meanwhile give back more than 50% of agricultural areas to nature, if we organize the food industry in a different way, using vertical farms, hydroponics and smart farming techniques.

Could the Energy Revolution be Pow

Geo-engineering may also help us to reduce the effects of too much CO2 in the air. The BBC recently asked Nobel Prize winners what the best solution would be to lower temperatures on earth, if needed. The winning idea: boats at sea, turning water into extra clouds to shield us from the sun. This costs 20 billion dollars and global warming is over. And then, maybe, we can focus on what is really happening now. The age of the plentiful is here. The question is how are we going to use the abundance of energy, fresh water, and resources for the benefit of humanity?

NEWS FLASH: De easier than ever. He

in those brown paper bags – nowith, based at the Hebrew tial potatoes have to generat and LED bulbs to generate a world! Rabinowitch claims t days.” The process of creatin

Taking into consideration th for the negative electrode, as and copper work well togeth with the acid inside the pota material to the other causes eight minutes breaks down o more freely and produce mo and zinc place in between, li idea been implemented worl avoiding depletion of food s


Rubriek naam |Naam bedrijf

vs Scarcity

FICTION: Flowers serve to color to our world.

Acknowledging scarcity is the best path to abundance

? NRG Magazine sheds some light on the ergy field to keep you up-to-date and informed. ays to use sugar, potatoes, flowers and more…


Paul Gilding Advisor on sustainability


he long debate between “scarcity” about the threat from Hitler’s Germany and “abundance” has taken a and soon to emerge from Japan, because significant turn in the last few years. democracy and technology will successfully Many who have traditionally taken a respond”. These threats were dealt with but markets view of the world are acknowledging not without the tragic deaths of 60 million the systemic economic risks posed by people, the unimaginable barbarity of the year 2014 and ecological impacts and resource constraint. holocaust and the largest economic and would be both Investors like Jeremy Grantham, business industrial mobilisation in history. This is the e time, but the advisors like McKinsey and global economic big difference between our capacity to do team led by institutions like the OECD have expressed things in theory and the reality of putting them or many of the concern about the scale of our resource into practice in time. I have a very optimistic challenge and its economic impact. Military and hopeful worldview and I have no doubt experts, as well, argue that events like the about our theoretical capacity to deal with our mes more efSyrian war are partially triggered by climate resource and ecological challenges. But as I only this “tank” FACT: Flowers to color ourat the change and water shortages - a sign ofIN things argued on stageserve with Peter Diamandis martphones and world and offer a simple to come. annual TED conference inphotovol2012, getting there r being tested on taic solution. Smartflower™ is the first all-in-one from here, while maintaining global economic plug & playand mobile solar power plant. It’s theso solution There is a big shift. For decades the scarcity geopolitical stability, is not easy. debate has largely been aligned with for those who are design-oriented and don’t have the option to install solar photovoltaic systemison environmentalists and scientists, while the Our aapproach to these (PV) questions of their concept was born in September 2010have and abundance view was more aligned with theroof. The great practical importance. Humans hasasbeen customers since. It’s athe simple, easy power of technology and markets. Partly a inspiring an optimism bias, making abundance and efficientargument PV product that can bereassuring. up and running, result, this debate has become an ideological seductively It convinces producing renewable energy within hour. Use it elivering energy to those off the grid nowline seems dividing – the pessimistic Malthusians vs us that “all will be well”only andanencourages justwe like a regular householdThis appliance! Check out ead to the checkout counter with a bag of potatoes, and solution lies thethe Techno-optimists! Given that context, complacency. is dangerous andthe could Smartflower™ at contribute – or mesh bags, depending on your grocery store. Researcher Haid Rabishould be clear on definitions. The abundance even to collapse – as history shows. w University of Jerusalem, and his team have been looking into the poten- by intelligent thinkers view, when articulated Writing on threats to global stability, the te power and all it takes are a couple of cheap metal plates, some wires like Peter Diamandis, is that while we certainly legendary investor Jeremy Grantham, founder an alternative lighting solution for remote towns andfaced villages around thehuman innovation and challenges, of $100 billion fund manager GMO, states: that “a single potato can power enough LED lamps to light a room for 40 with the global reach of creativity combined ng energy from potatoes is basic, in theory. markets would deal with them. “Probably the greatest agreement among scholars,


wered by Potatoes?

hat potatoes are organic material all that’s needed areThe two scarcity metals: one view is that the decline of cheap s an anode and the cathode, being the positively charge electrode. Zinc resources and rising ecosystem impacts her, suggests Rabinowitch. When the zinc and copperthreatens come intoglobal contacteconomic and social stability, ato, a chemical reaction is created. Then, the electronsperhaps flowing civilization from one itself. I argue the latter but energy to be released. To save energy lost by heat, boiling potato forqualification. As outlined in with antheimportant organic tissues and reduces resistance which allows electrons move my bookto The Great Disruption, I am a great ore energy. Slicing the potato into four or five pieces,believer and laying copper in athe power of human ingenuity ike a sandwich also increases the energy output. Why hasn’t the geniusBut I think it’s delusional, and technology. ldwide? Well, the unfortunate truth is that the focus at the moment is on rather than optimistic, to think we will spread stocks and competition with farmers. solutions across the world in sufficient time to power-the-spuds-that-could-light-the-world/) prevent the serious consequences of scarcity to the global economy and society. The comparison is to imagine at the start of WWII, someone arguing “don’t worry 17 NRG Magazine

though, is that the failing civilizations suffered from growing hubris and overconfidence: the belief that their capabilities after many earlier tests would always rise to the occasion and that growing signs of weakness could be ignored as pessimistic. After all …. many other dangers had been warned of yet always they had persevered. Until finally they did not.”

If abundance thinking give us hope and self belief to achieve great things, then I’m all for it. If it encourages complacency and undermines our sense of urgency and preparedness, it could in itself be a contributing cause of our decline. NRG Magazine 17

Coverstory | Revolutionizing the Energy World

A Conversation with a Happy Infiltrator As the world is changing, new trends emerge and someone must be there to keep up with them. One of these people is Daan Roosegaarde, founder of Studio Roosegaarde, and the man behind interactive designs like Smart Highway, Dune, Intimacy and the SMOG Project. The studio’s purpose is to bring more life to our surroundings in an environmentally friendly manner. During this revolutionary phase of the energy domain, NRG Magazine had a chance to get an inside scoop on Daan's story. Go ahead - take a look at the conversation we had with Daan himself. What sparked your interest in interactive design? I think there was always a desire to make things which feel alive, which you feel connected to in this overdigitalized world where the virtual or digital world is very interactive, very open and shareable, but the analogue world -the one you and I live in- remains very static and very solid. So the question is what can we do to open that up? I’ve always seen technology as a great tool to make environments more human again. How did you find your niche? We created our own market, our own niche. We created the first Dune project in 2007 – landscape of light - and then the Tate Modern jumped on it and I think this was very important to make a sort of statement about how this new world could look like. Tell us about your professional evolution. Can you walk us through your timeline? The year 2007 is when we built our first Dune and that was the moment we became very tactile. And then the media jumped on it, so a lot of new clients started to call. Here’s when I could also hire a team of designers and “whizz kids” in order to push research further. The idea started at the Fine Arts Academy in Enschede where I started to collect a group of engineers and people who were interested in craftsmanship. The moment we created the first Dune, we sort of became a creative company. I’ve always had this ambition to have a sort of dream factory - so not so much focus on products and thinking about what the client wants, but more to make our own statement about what we want our future to look like.

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Daan’s project on Smart Highways is about creating interactive and sustainable highway roads. Lights on highways will illuminate only when cars drive by; painted lines will be glowin-the-dark and will light up when temperatures drop below zero; road signs are to adapt to different traffic situations and lanes will include coils to recharge electric cars when they drive by. New designs are called “Glowing Lines”, “Dynamic Paint”, “Interactive Light”, “Induction Priority Lane” and “Road Printer” and use energy harvesting, sensors and other new media. ²

Coverstory | Revolutionizing the Energy World

Artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde (1979) is internationally known for creating social designs that explore the relation between people, technology and space. His Studio Roosegaarde is the social design lab with his team of designers and engineers based in the Netherlands and Shanghai.

Where do you get your inspiration? It’s all about places. I like architectural offices like OMA, or Schiphol airport. I’m a big fan of places. How did it all start financially? In the beginning we self-commissioned ourselves…people were paid in pizzas. Now, we’ve commercialized a bit more, fortunately for my employees. With the profit that we made with the project Smart Highway, for instance - we’re not interested in a new Audi’s, but we self-commission ourselves and even the small projects are projects we started ourselves and the client came later. So we’re very proactive in investing in our own dreams and this created a new niche, a new language. So, we don’t wait for client – we create them ourselves. Do you consider yourself to still be in start-up phase, then? No, it’s weird – we’ve built our own reputation. I’m not so much interested in what we’ve achieved, I’m more interested in what we’re going to explore. So, we see that the art world has opened up a lot,

but we also see the larger corporations like the road manufacturer we’re working with (Heijmans) come to us and say “can we work with you to think about the future of energy, of mobility, of health?” This creates interesting research and development phases. It’s interesting to team up with the CEOs of today and to work together to make life better and improve it. We still do the art but these kinds of creative dialogues I think, will have and even larger impact on today’s society. Did you have any setbacks? I think in the beginning (2007-2008), a lot of people thought “is this art?” It’s about technology and entrepreneurs and about the future…so is this really art? It’s weird now, because we just came from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam where we installed our Lotus Dome. Now, we’re in the middle of the cultural capital scene so this is a change. I think the scene changed in this way from more open to innovation to more exploration of the role of art in today’s society. So this way, we were pioneers, but it took time for people to get used to this. NRG Magazine 19

Coverstory | Revolutionizing the Energy World

Have you ever felt like giving up? No, this is what I do! So this is your passion…you’ve actually followed your dream and here you are? Yes, exactly. There are always people telling you what you want is not possible or not allowed - it’s your job to prove them wrong. It’s funny because we still have this sort of struggle, for example with the smog project – we’re making the cleanest park in Beijing and there are a lot of people telling me oh, it’s not possible, but I sort of like this struggle because it means you’re doing something new. What about your personality – what does it take to make this all happen? I’m a hippie with a business plan. So there’s an ideology, a dream, and at the same time, there’s a desire to make it happen within the world of today - to operate within the world of the creative (design, art, museums) and to team up with the decision makers of today. Working together to make things better…again I’m a happy infiltrator in that world. What is your favorite design? Why? I like Lotus Dome right now at the Rijksmuseum. It’s a very tactile and sensual piece. It’s a good example of techno poetry - of where the world of innovation and of imagination merge together. What’s the Beijing project all about? The Beijing project is a very radical project where we’re exploring how to create the cleanest spot in Beijing…and we’re developing the largest vacuum cleaner in the world. On one end, we’re being praised for innovation and being pioneer, but on the other hand, I notice that I get bored of that very easily so I’m always looking for the new periphery. I’m a happy infiltrator in that way, I like that role. Where do you see the world in 50 years? Where do you fit into this picture along the way? I don’t look at 50…I can tell you a whole story on flying cars, and living on Mars but I’m not interested in this. I can look at 5-6 years. I’m more interested in what we’re doing right now - where we should realize true landscapes of interactivity 20 NRG Magazine

and sustainability. So, focusing on roads which generate their own electricity, using technology to make places more human again. I’m incredibly fascinated by what happens when technology jumps out of the computer screen and becomes a part of the things that we wear, the roads that we drive on, this kind of notion of “wearability” to inform us, to personalize the world around us and the connect each other again. I think this is not a George Orwell but a Leonardo Da Vinci notion. Where does Studio Roosegaarde see itself in the next 5-6 years? We’re working on glowing nature (lightemitting plants) and on large scale public art works at Schiphol, and central stations. I sort of follow my personal obsessions in that way. We don’t do market research; we just have my personal obsessions. Can you give any tips for new entrepreneurs about conceiving new ideas and start-ups in energy? Start with paying in pizzas but be willing to upgrade. Get some good people around

you who share your dreams and start investing in your own dreams. Build it, realize it, and then think about the context. Where does your idea have the biggest impact? Is it a museum, public space, with an entrepreneur? There will always be people telling you that what you want can never be done. It’s your job to prove them wrong. If you ask people 10 years ago if they want a mobile phone, they would have said no, of course not – I don’t want to be reachable all the time. And now, it’s the thing we fall asleep with. Life is liquid, reality is liquid. That’s what you should realize - that ideas that may sound awkward today, might be completely natural very soon. This allows your space for freedom, for creativity. In a time where the whole system is crashing and the new one is still unknown, we need new ideas so yeah, I would definitely go out there and grab that.

¹, Vacuum cleaner to suck fog from Beijing ² 3, take a trip down


Coverstory | Revolutionizing the Energy World

“The Beijing project is a very radical project where we’re exploring how to create the cleanest spot in Beijing.”

An electronic smog vacuum cleaner – this is what we call it, these days.With a history of pursuing bold projects, Roosegaarde has developed a device that is intended to suck pollutants from Beijing’s smog filled air. Using copper coils, an electromagnetic field will pull and attract airborne particles of smog and purify the air. The project is intended to draw attention to the smog cleared skies (looking like holes in the sky up to 60 meters wide) but is not considered a long-term solution and the technology is to be tested in Beijing Park. ¹ He will be creating a visual statement that shows that nature can really be brought back to the polluted city. Using the cleaned smog particulates from the sky, the artist plans on making pieces of jewellery – an idea he got from watching citizens of Beijing customizing their face masks to make fashion statements. Overall, art is to be shown contributing to the improvement life and science. ³


LOTUS DOME is a living dome made out of hundreds of smart flowers which fold open in response to human behavior. Deep inside the 17th-century Sainte Marie Madeleine Church in Lille, LOTUS DOME creates an interactive play of light and shadow. As a futuristic vision on the Renaissance, LOTUS DOME merges elements of architecture and nature into an interactive environment. The project was awarded with the Media Architecture Award 2012 in the category of Future Trends.4

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Startups | Revoltionizing Solar

The Energy Revolution: Solar for All Patrick and Richard van der Meulen are the masterminds behind It took them two years to transform their start-up into a business with unique proposition and a fast growing group of customers. provides affordable solar panel solutions, and aims at revolutionizing the solar energy industry by bringing trust back to the sector while offering leasing options to help tackle the high initial investment of solar panels.

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Startups | Revolutionizing Solar



atrick recalls that in his university years, many got tempted by an idea of creating a business in green energy – which is not surprising, as the trend was becoming increasingly popular and promised revenue. Seeing this, one of his teachers once aptly commented: “Only 5% of all the graduates will venture into starting their own companies, and only 1% of those starting will become successful.” Given the fact that Patrick had approximately 100 other students in his graduate year, it seems like the estimation was accurate after trials and errors he was the only one who became the owner of a successful solar energy company in the northern part of the Netherlands. For quite some time now money has stopped being the primary drive for the company’s operations. Affordable sustainability solutions remain a vague concept for many companies in the sector, but develops concrete offers aimed at making solar energy affordable to an increasing number of Dutch households. None of Patrick’s current achievements have come easily. Before, he made three different attempts at starting up in the energy sector. First, there was an idea to offer electric cars for lease, which he was working on together with his student colleagues. However, after a few months of project development, it was evident to the group that their offer was ahead of time – the market was not yet ready to adopt electric cars for wide usage. “After that, we founded a real company – a consultancy that helped businesses achieve their sustainability goals,” the entrepreneur recollects. While still engaged in this, Patrick was becoming specifically interested in the solar market

and possibilities for creating a business in it. It soon came to his attention that one of the biggest solar panels producers in Spain did not have a distributor in the Netherlands. A marketer rather than an engineer, he was shrewd to develop and pitch a business proposal, offering to sell 1.0000 Spanish solar panels in the Netherlands. However, at the age of 18, Patrick was confronted with a common problem like the majority of other young entrepreneurs – finding the right partner. Solar panel distribution became a serious endeavor with matching workload and stress, and all of his previous team members decided to quit. The reason why he chose his father as a partner was simple: “I realized that in order to build a successful company, I needed someone I could trust and with experience.” Richard van der Meulen, a seasoned entrepreneur at that time, had already been managing a business of over 200 employees in different branches. Thus, was founded by father and a son in 2012. Being a distributor and not a producer, it was possible for to start selling with no prior funding. The concept was further developed, gradually, from sales profits. There were no blueprints or roadmaps, and everything was learned along the way. It became evident to Patrick that the low price of panels alone would not convince people to favor solar energy– customers were looking for quality and a company they could really trust. The current situation in the solar market is complex – first and foremost because of the alarming quantity of those whom Patrick himself refers to as “cowboys and glory hunters.” These are people who not only lack the necessary competence, but also offer low-quality products at too high costs. For customers

who have encountered such distributors, the experience of using solar power is disappointing at the least, and their energy bills are just as costly. Today, is working hard to bring trust back to the sector. There is a greater mission behind enie. nl. It is in making renewable energy affordable to all those willing to use it. This is a challenging task, given the fact that people willing to install solar panels would normally have to invest €5-7 thousand upfront. One possible solution to this problem is a lease option. The idea is that the company covers initial expenses for the panels and installation. Though the number of leasers is smaller than that of buyers, it is gradually growing. Today the company is much more than just a solar panel distributor. is offering their clients a full package of services – not only do they install the solar panels, but complement the service by reselling green energy to their clients, as well as smart monitoring devices. Patrick sums it all up as such: “there is a similar mindset for all startups – it’s when you know that contrary to the existing way of doing things, you can do it much better’. He is convinced that step by step, he will one day change the whole energy industry.

TIPS FOR TALENT Starting up in energy is not a fairy-tale. The only way not to get discouraged by the problems you face, is to firmly believe in what you do and know where you want to go.

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Startups | Revolutionizing Lighting

Walking into the Light (literally!) It all started back in 2010 with a simple question – why do we talk about energy savings so much, while we keep lamps lit all night? The idea of technology, after all, is to make our lives more comfortable. Chintan Shah created street lights that not only contribute to urban sustainability, but make us feel safe, comfortable and welcomed. As we approach them, Tvilight lamps would light up gracefully as if they have been waiting for us.


he fear of darkness has followed the human race throughout history. Obscurity at night may be fascinating to poetic souls, but the majority of people strive for personal safety and tend to minimize their exposure to darkness at all costs. As a result, modern cities resemble incredibly bright clusters of light, which look beautiful from plane windows, but account for 40% of every municipality’s energy bill.¹ Urban safety is dependent on outdoor lighting, but a lion’s share of night lights is in fact a waste of electricity, as during the late night hours, there are sometimes no people who need the light around them. How do we stop wasting electricity without compromising safety? Is it possible for urban citizens to have the right amount of light and only when necessary? In 2010, Chintan Shah, an engineer from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), began researching statistics on energy consumption of lighting in Europe. He was astonished to find that outdoor lighting costs the European Union €27 million every night.² Furthermore, inefficient street lights contribute to the production of unnecessary CO2 - a 500W street lamp, if lit for 7 hours a night, can singlehandedly produce up to two tons of CO2 a year. ³ First driven by sheer curiosity, this engineer decided to use his knowledge of sensor technology to design a solution that would address the existing problem of inefficient lighting solutions. It was evident that lights could not be switched off completely, but neither could

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they be continuously lit. The idea behind Tvilight is seemingly simple – lights can be dimmed instead of switched off and made to light up when human presence is detected. Motion-activated outdoor lamps were not a new idea, but the majority of them lit up in a sudden flash and would go out immediately. Chintan wanted to surround humans with a safe circle of light, which would accompany them as they walked: “it is a beautiful solution - you move and the light moves with you,” he shares. However, the development proved to be a painstaking process, requiring excellent understanding of the very nature of sensor and wireless technology. The task was further complicated by the fact that outdoor sensors envisaged by Chintan needed not only to detect humans and vehicles, but also filter out movements caused by animals or wind.

Startups | Revolutionizing Lighting

In 2010, Chintan reduced his regular work week to three days in order to start experimenting on what became his passion and “idée fixe.” As an alumni and a research candidate of TU Delft, Chintan received a tremendous amount of support, and was able to submit his project to the Delft Energy Challenge competition. Looking back, Chintan is certain that without TU Delft’s support, Tvilight would have never come into existence. As a winner of the contest, he received funding for developing a prototype and launching a pilot on campus. The process of bringing such a product to the market certainly wasn’t easy and the engineer remarks on the challenges of starting up in the energy sector overall: “high-tech developments require extensive investment – millions might be needed before you break-even.” On top of that, uncertain outcome and a lot of work is what awaits those who venture. Having someone to encourage you during the initial phase is important and to Chintan, this person was his wife. Today, already CEO, he still stresses the value of having a partner and a team: “It’s a 60-80 hours per week job, more so during the first years of entrepreneurship. Support is incredibly important.” However, he never doubted that the world desperately needed his solution. The first pilot tested in 2011 was a huge success, having attracted media attention, buyers and investors. In 2012, the city of Neunen became the launching customer, first of many to implement the intelligent street lighting solution that has been in development for three years. The launch coincided with investments, and that was when Tvilight started its commercial operation. Today Chintan Shah gladly states that the demand for Tvilight lighting systems exceeds the capacity to meet it, which would be addressed through increased production in 2014. In 2013, the company installed 600 wireless sensors (called ‘CitySense’), but this amount has increased up to 5000-8000 in 2014. “There is a huge demand worldwide, from America to South Korea, because street lights are everywhere, and Tvilight’s solution is a comprehensive answer to a range of existing lighting problems,” the engineer explains. The company’s current customers are primarily cities and industries while upcoming plans are to

Train stations in the Netherlands (Beilen, Meppel and Hoogeveen); Park & Ride (Groningen); Industrial terrain (Assen)

setup a global distribution network and co-operate with large companies like Philips, Osram or General Electric. Tvilight’s CitySense is already widely implemented in Ireland and Germany and is on the way to USA, Canada and Australia. By adopting the Tvilight technology, governments across the globe can significantly cut their electricity expenses and preserve urban safety. According to Chintan, the estimated ROI for this solution should be seen between 3 to 6 years – this is how much time is necessary to make up for the initial investment in annual saving costs.

TIPS FOR TALENT You should always have a plan B, which you can fall back on when things go wrong. Never underestimate the value of previous work experience – it will help you, since not everything in making business is about technology.

¹, project financed by EU commission ² and ³, European efficient street lighting

NRG Magazine 25

Startups | Revolutionizing Hydro

The Energy Revolution: Energy 24/7 Our oceans absorb 70% of all sunlight and cover 71% of the world’s surface area1.When sunlight is captured as heat within the upper layers of the ocean, this creates ocean thermal energy (OTE) and Bluerise BV has been using to this phenomenon to develop specific technology such as Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). Considered a baseload energy source, oceans can now offer us unlimited and renewable energy available 24/7 – that’s what makes it so revolutionary. What did it take to put theory into practice? Berend Jan Kleute shares the Bluerise story, here. one of the media outlets that picked up on the technology story, was the Antillean newspaper. This triggered interest from Curaçao’s Airport Holding (CAH). Then, CAH approached Berend and Remi to evaluate the opportunities to harness OTE, which explains their current involvement with Curaçao’s Ocean EcoPark. This co-operation marked Bluerise’s official spin-off.

Berend Jan Kleute Bluerise’s CTO


luerise BV was founded in 2010 by two masterminds - Remi Blokker and Berend Jan Kleute who are now the company’s CEO and CTO. Today, in 2014, Bluerise is managed by 10 employees with various skills and experience that make the team fully complementary. As the story unfolds, Berend explains that as a student of mechanical engineering, he decided to focus his attention on OTEC when he realized the huge potential that such technology could have in creating a sustainable world. At the time that the company was founded, Berend and his fellow colleagues had just won the Design Challenge at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) for a 10MW OTEC plant designed for the island of Curaçao. Remi, who had previously founded several other firms, approached Berend with a proposal to bring OTEC technology to the commercial market. Among others, 26 NRG Magazine

Nowadays, Bluerise uses OTEC as a marine renewable energy source driven by the sun’s heat and makes this energy available 24/7. Why does this work? Berend describes how the ocean’s temperature is nearly always constant which creates this unique opportunity, unlike solar and wind energy which are intermittent. We know this: securing energy supply in off-grid regions has become an issue due to their dependence on diesel generators operating at high costs. Now, Bluerise can help tackle these issues with their revolutionary technology. Although pilot projects have not been launched yet, the technology has been proven through demonstration sites in Japan, Hawaii and La Réunion, a French Island in the midst of the Indian Ocean. Chatting with Berend, it became obvious that there was something special that set Bluerise’s team apart from others that have tried to make it in the sector. And guess what - we were right about this: “Bluerise consists of a team of serial entrepreneurs and engineers that recognize the tremendous opportunity OTEC offers. All partners combine indepth knowledge in the energy market, an entrepreneurial spirit and at last but not least, a passion to build a global

sustainable future,” shared Berend. He adds that “Bluerise continuously works to develop unique in-house expertise and with customers, academia and industry partners in order to excel in realizing OTE technology and systems.” This sure sounds like an ideal team. The company’s first plans are to deploy OTEC onshore, by building a pipe from the seabed towards the deep ocean which pumps cold water. The cold water will not only be used to drive the OTEC power plant, but also be used for cooling Curaçao’s Airport buildings. By using this synergy approach, Bluerise expects to commercially realize its first 500kW onshore OTEC plant providing a good basis for future scaleups. When OTEC reaches a magnitude of 10 MW, offshore installation at sea will also be considered. Manufacturing and deployment remains OTEC’s unique challenge, however, the oil and gas industry already uses advanced offshore technology to build plants and pipes three kilometres deep into the ocean. So, the necessary knowledge and technology currently exists, it only has to be adapted to OTEC plants. Citizens of the world have yet to recognize the immense potential OTEC has for our sustainable future. Despite challenges, Bluerise's technology also attracts curious youth

Startups | Revolutionizing Hydro

“At Bluerise, there is a can-do mentality, embracing innovation, ingenuity and collaboration combined with the ambition to do well by doing good and a shared passion to build a global sustainable future.” Bluerise expects that commercial OTEC plants will be operational within a few years. Their elements for success, as described by Berend, are that they have a diverse and complete set of complementary team members, sufficient expertise and resources deriving from their collaboration with industry partners and the TU Delft, specific insights in the market and strong relationships built with customers and lastly, they have a phased market approach which means that the team knows the best way to gain full deployment is through pilot and demonstration projects. Using these elements, Bluerise’s OTEC technology will become reliable and affordable.

OTEC Technology in Brief

At the moment, Bluerise is making great progress with Curaçao’s Airport to launch one of world's first OTEC plants, as part of Curaçao’s Ocean Ecopark. This project has been selected as a leading sustainable solution by Sustania 100*, 2013 and in its completion, Curaçao will have their first 500 kilowatt OTEC power plant that will use the seawater’s thermal energy as a power source. The same seawater will also be used to cool the airport terminal and other facilities in the airport.

Electricity is generated through OTEC technology using the temperature difference between the warm water from the ocean’s surface and the cold water from the deep ocean (800-1000 meters). The principle is relatively simple. The warm surface water is used to evaporate a so-called working fluid inside a Rankine Cycle and then, vapour drives an electricity generating turbine. The cold water brought up from the deep ocean is then used to condense the vapour back to liquid phase, so it can be reused, forming a continuous electricity generating cycle.

A company of absolute necessity for the globe’s sustainability targets – this is Bluerise.

TIPS FOR TALENT Be informed about the energy market and find your market niche; create a dream team with passionate colleagues and strong partners; validate your idea within the market; think win-win and find financial resources that are not necessarily money driven but also have a “willing to do good” purpose. In the end, the business case is that counts.

There are specific conditions where OTEC can operate. In equatorial areas, the ocean’s temperature difference (from the deep ocean to the ocean’s surface) is around 20 degrees Celsius and stable during the year, which proves to be a suitable and sustainable resource for large scale generation with OTEC. The worldwide market potential for OTEC is enormous, with a gigawatt scale and multi-billion dollar market in the Caribbean alone.

*Sustania 100 is a guide published annually which includes the top 100 innovative solutions for sustainability from around the world. These solutions are considered to be readily available projects, initiatives and technologies. 1

NRG Magazine 27

Startups | Revolutionizing Processes

The Energy Revolution: Let’s Talk (-20%) Energy Reductions There’s a new take on process optimization and Water & Energy Solutions defines it. They’ve significantly reduced energy usage at different production locations of multinationals by using their new concept: Flux Technology. They state that the “core-process” perspective of current optimization methodologies is outdated. To significantly reduce energy consumption in an industrial processes, a change in perspective is needed. With this change, 20% energy reduction is obtainable for almost every factory.


t all started with €10 000, a couple of laptops and a small rented office space. As a student of chemical engineering at the University of Groningen, Aaldrik Haijer needed to find a way to make some pocket cash and fund his study trips. So, he started solving technical problems at factories and performing feasibility studies. Then it hit him – if he could earn some income with these business cases at school, then he could also just do it for himself. Funny enough, Aaldrik, now Owner and Director of Water & Energy Solutions had entrepreneurial characteristics as a small child, as well. In elementary school, he began selling pencils, pens and the like to his fellow classmates. Was it a success? His parents sure thought so. It turned out that Aaldrik ended up saving 2000 guilders at the time, which today is around 800 EUR. Well, Aaldrik grew up and decided to start a company with a friend of his, originally based on those factory feasibility studies with technical problem solving. The company was running quite well as a consultancy although they soon realized, that even if they could solve all the clients’ issues, “a problem isn’t a problem unless it directly bothers you,” he states. Here’s where it got interesting. Instead of solving problems that are already problems, Aaldrik and his partner began to notice that if they took a step back to take a look 28 NRG Magazine

Aaldrik Haijer Owner and Director of Water & Energy Solutions at the big picture, they saw opportunities others didn’t. Water & Energy Solutions came into existence as an energy and process optimization company, operating with an unconventional lens. Their motto: “Looking in a different way, always results in seeing different things”. Typically, a process engineer or a Lean Six-Sigma consultant, would look at a production location through its “core process” – the value chain of converting raw materials into products. By doing so, production process requirements cloud

their view. How can you freely think out of the box when you always hear: “yes, but…”? Their approach was to first define and quantify opportunities. Aaldrik: “When you know how much you can save, you change the way you think about the effort you have to put in. Of course, there are always reasons not to do something, but in our experience, significant saving opportunities light a fire even in conservative people.” How do they do it? Their utility based approach (hence the name Water &

Startups | Revolutionizing Processes

“So how was it possible that we saw all this potential, and they didn’t? In short, it was because we were looking through a different lens.” Energy Solutions), looks at production processes from the outside in. Moreover, instead of assessing flows, they do utilitycore process interaction modelling which they named Flux Technology. So far, the company promises to reduce energy usage by 20%-50% for all clients, with a track record high of 70% reduction. Overall, they are adding value by making sure that converting raw materials into products is done with a minimum of resources, bringing new insights in complex situations. Modernization, at its finest. This year marks a crucial year for the company’s expansion as plans are to enter the US and Middle East market. Aaldrik, now the single owner of Water & Energy Solutions, is a do-it-all kind of director (management, acquisition of new contracts, content the company delivers) but as the company has left the startup phase and is now exploring the growth phase, he certainly won’t be able to do all the things he is currently tasked with. Currently, Water & Energy Solutions holds eight employees but in a year, that number should be doubled. New challenges arise along the way and in the beginning, there was one important trial that Aaldrik had to overcome before moving forward. “Legitimacy,” Aaldrik believes, was the most difficult challenge to overcome. “Because we operate in an environment with large multinational companies and factories with a lot of money invested and high running costs, getting them to listen to a couple of guys from a startup was quite challenging.” The legitimacy issue was solved by working in close cooperation with the University of Groningen. With the university, some shining confidence, and a few projects with great results, this

Flux Technology allows you to look at production from a water and energy perspective – it’s a top-down methodology that focuses on analyzing the intersecting process and utility streams.

legitimacy issue doesn’t exist anymore. “It was after the first three customers (Gasunie, PPG Industries, BASF) that we managed to prove the principle, and then we became legitimate.” Today, Water & Energy Solutions is so busy with new clients that they’ve had to decline a few proposals to join existing clients in what could be an exciting construction phase. “It’s better that we just focus on what we’re really good at,” Aaldrik mentions. Seeing that a startup company was able to achieve 70% energy reduction for one of their clients, and promises from 20%40% energy reduction every time, Aaldrik believes that large corporations should really start considering new ideas from startups. Water & Energy Solutions works in two phases: “first, we show clients what

they’re doing in their process according to our utility based view. Then we identify new energy saving possibilities. Next, when the client proceeds with the second phase, we really in-depth model utility interactions with core processes and provide a conceptualized design of how it should work with all key values.” In this way, they guarantee energy reduction and possibilities to produce more with less.

TIPS FOR TALENT “Just start. Start, and see where your value lies.”

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Rockstart | Revolutionizing Incubators

Rockstart Accelerator loves startups! This program focuses on helping the most promising international startups by introducing them to a large network of seasoned businessmen and investors, as well as offering guidance and financial support. In 2014, more than a hundred smart energy and tech enthusiasts applied to become part of the Smart Energy 2014 program. Only 10, however, were invited to fly to Amsterdam - a city with such a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene that it may well be seen as a Modern Mecca for startups of all kinds. NRG Magazine’s editorial team has selected some of its own favorites out of those already chosen. Meet the bright minds whose brilliant ideas have transcended into feasible products with a great profit potential. These four startups are predicted to ROCK the energy and technology world!


The New Found Glory of Block Houses J

urrian Kijtijzer, professor at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, has been always interested in modular buildings. However, the majority of modular solutions on the market have always seemed far from perfect. Bluntly put “they looked ugly and all the same, like massive construction boxes,” Jurrian now recollects. WOODstacker came as a response to all problems most commonly present in modular houses of our days. Unlike others companies in the field, WOODstacker only uses natural materials, and excludes any elements which are harmful to our health. It is “Cradle-to-Cradle” design certified, which means that design solutions are waste-free and in harmony with our nature’s ecosystem – modules can be reused over and over again, until they eventually decompose in the soil.

“They only seem like simple wooden blocks, but there are countless possibilities in them, and it’s a perfect field for creative work,” the architect shares. “My part as a designer is to put the blocks in a combination that would suit the location, fulfill the necessary function and remain visually attractive,” he continues. The interior can be adjusted to suit any interests – if clients no longer want the building to serve as a hotel, they can just add the kitchen block to it, for instance. Put the blocks together or take them apart, move the whole house to a new location altogether – consider it LEGO, for adults! A truly ideal building system, nonetheless. The average project consists of 40-80 modules, organized in up to five levels. WOODstacker houses are fully self-supportive, with each module decentralized and relying fully on its own green electricity sources. These wooden houses are also of excellent durability – they will stand at least 50 years, when other modular houses would get demolished in 10-15.

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Jurrian Knijtijzer

“People often make wrong assumptions about wooden houses – like, that they burn easily and contribute to deforestation,” comments Jurrian. Neither of this is true in case of WOODstacker, as the company grows its own trees that would later become wooden modules. Furthermore, buildings made of these wooden blocks outperform traditional ones in terms of fire resistance. Traditional apartments are required to offer at least 60 minutes of fire resistance between each flat and WOODstacker’s buildings would have at least 90 minutes of resistance. “Our goal is to enter the current real estate market and establish WOODstacker there,” Jurrian shares. This is not an easy task given the deeply rooted conservatism of the real estate business, its close ties to politics and capitalintensiveness. “We are looking for a long-term partner, who would agree to make, say, 100 WOODstacker blocks and start putting them around the world.” The first investors were hard to find, but there are already a couple supporting current projects. WOODstacker is currently busy with delivering projects in Amsterdam and Groningen. According to Jurrian, we will see ‘youngster housing’ for those new graduates, or those just starting a family.

Rockstart | Revolutionizing Incubators

GiveO2: The Go-to App to Reduce Your Eco-footprint!


n this digital age, with technology influencing our day-to-day lives so greatly, all it takes are new and improved applications to alter our lifestyles. This is exactly what you get when IT engineers begin to worry about environmental issues. Cristian, Joaquin and Christel were all born and raised in Santiago de Chile, one of the most polluted cities of Latin America. This means that, inevitably, they’ve experienced firsthand, how human health can be affected by heavily polluted air. While sitting in a classroom, Cristián and Joaquin, were thinking about whether or not IT engineering can contribute to making the world more sustainable and thus, the inception of GiveO2. Christel joined them later as a graphic designer, and the three of them still work together to contribute to GiveO2’s success. Their initial idea of an app was so successful that it won both the JumpUC contest (best business idea) and the Geek Fantasy Camp, which gave them 2000 USD worth of capital and the right to develop the prototype in Silicon Valley, California. After getting back from California, the team received 80 000 USD from the Chilean government for further development.

“Measure your life’s sustainability!” GiveO2 was launched in 2013 and the founders describe it as “a way to automatically measure your life’s sustainability.” Using 3G connection and GPS, GiveO2 is a personalized and fully automated tool to track your transport usage and fitness activity. This key feature is not a monitoring measure per se, but offers the possibility to offset the damage made to the environment. If you’ve been on the road for a while, GiveO2 measures how much of an eco-footprint you’ve created, and then gives you a solution to make up for it! For instance X miles by car, would mean you’d have to walk, bike or exercise Y miles to even it out. The app gives you an insta-fix! Here’s the fun part: you can compete with other registered users to see who can have the most sustainable travel solution or lifestyle. Winners can earn real life rewards like discounts at local stores. We’ve heard about similar apps before, but none of them have offered the comprehensive track-and-offset opportunity coupled with feasible rewards. On top of that, there

Joaquin Dufeu, Christel Kemp and Cristián Schalper are plans to share the app even further: “we want to expand the scope of the app into the whole fitness field,” remarks Cristián. The GiveO2 team is working very hard to have the app available in the next couple of months. GiveO2 is targeted towards urban yuppies, and city travelers aged 20-40 who can use the app with no cost. These two groups make up one-fifth of Latin America’s population and if the majority will start using the app, pollution could be reduced significantly. Companies caring for their employees’ health would also be able to obtain a corporate account and a customized plan to jointly engage in sustainable practices. “We are looking for companies who want to test out the current version of the app, primarily SMEs interested in encouraging their employees to live more healthy lives,” Cristián shares. The main challenge, as defined by Cristián, is finding the right business model: “The three of us need to continue with development, but also find ways to attain clients and sell.” According to the team, they never expected to end up in the Netherlands, but it now feels like no other place would be more suitable. With citizens that are environmentally conscious, it would hopefully be easier to establish the primary client network within the Dutch market. Even in its startup phase, GiveO2 has already been recognized as one of the nine “top applications” from the Mobile Premier Awards in 2013.

Win a tr ip to Co penhag Start mea en! suring you r footprint Download to day! the app an d use cod "NRG Batt e le" to com pete.

NRG Magazine 31

Rockstart | Revolutionizing Incubators

Power Tags: Track Your Way to Energy Effciency


efore inventing the Power Tags system, Yaniv had been engaged in developing WLAN & Bluetooth services for Texas Instruments. In May 2012, he began working on his new product tapping into his knowledge and skills: “I knew a lot about this technology and I just thought – okay, let’s create something new. It was more a visionary thing than a product created to make money.” Current tracking devices remain big in size, non-comfortable to wear and are definitely not energy efficient. “We wanted to make a sensor that would be easy to wear, running on low power and could be easily worn by anybody.” Reflecting on the reasons behind joining Rockstart’s Smart Energy program, Yaniv says that the company has long since recognized the product’s potential in enabling intelligent energy usage in buildings and better energy efficiency, overall. The Power Tags system was developed for large buildings Yaniv Reibenbach in commercial, industrial and governmental sectors, which are traditionally heavy on energy consumption and energy waste. The sensors provide real-time data on the occupants inside them, thus allowing managing energy usage more efficiently. For a case in point - when no people are detected, lights go out automatically. In fact, the system allows saving up to 60% energy consumption on buildings’ heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting. Advanced sensor technology has allowed for lights to be turned off only when human presence is not detected. This solves the issue of lights turning off unexpectedly for instance, during lectures, when students are still in the classroom, but not moving for the sensor lighting to stay lit. Power Tags sensors are smaller than the majority of existing analogues – only 3 cm in size, which make them more comfortable than any other tracking device. Many are still as big as a mobile phone. Unlike traditional trackers, Power Tags sensors can also be attached to a watch or a badge. The technological aspect of the solution was recognized by the Israeli Ministry of Energy, which provided initial funding for the idea development. Though initially developed with energy efficiency in mind, Power Tags sensors will contribute to many more other fields: using them can assist in emergency/disaster evacuation or trigger alarm systems when tracking equipment. Ian adds: “We are looking for companies and partners to collaborate on pilots.” He also mentions that those willing to team up would benefit by adding the option of real time location tracking to their services. These might be any large-scale corporations in need to reap the energy consumption in its buildings but also for other purposes – asset tracking, employee attendance monitoring, and many more. After sensors get tested within big companies, they would be made affordable to individual buyers at a retail price of approximately $150. Money well spent on an ingredient for energy efficiency! Power Tags gives you the opportunity to contribute to the new age of sustainability.

! Day on April 17th Check out Demo m/ tar it http://rocks For more information vis y-program/demo-day/ erg -en accelerator/smart 32 NRG Magazine

Rockstart | Revolutionizing Incubators

DREAMUPS: The Bridge to Bright Minds and Design


reamups first emerged as a project to help local communities, desperate to address their most important issues like how to sanitize water, cope with disease or find new energy sources. In the beginning, Dreamups resembled a social network of volunteers willing to look for possible solutions to communal problems. However, more and more people with technical backgrounds joined, including engineers with different specializations. As a result, the initiative evolved into a full-fledged web application - a collaboration tool for engineers and other people to get together and jointly design anything, from a thermostat to an airplane. Tudor sums it up: “It is a tool that helps people create new technologies in a way that was never so easy before.” At the heart of the company lies the value to create technology in a transparent way, and ultimately bring products to people who really need them. A project can start from a simple product sketch contributed by someone willing to make that sketch a reality. The community then takes over and through common effort, makes it a reality by developing, designing and offering critique. In a step-by-step process, that sketched concept eventually becomes a tangible product. Thus far, none of the contributors will be receiving income for their input - the main incentive for participants is to sharpen their skill set, enhance their network, and improve their Dreamups profiles. This may change if engineers will be working on technological solutions for larger companies, but according to Tudor, it is just too early to think of this now. Companies can benefit from Dreamups’ application if they want to develop technology in a faster, more transparent and interactive manner.

"THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY BELONGS TO OPEN COMMUNITIES" When a project is published for a community, anyone can join. The system can be seen as a self-regulating one – participating engineers have profiles, ranked differently on the basis of their skills and experience. Should someone suggest a design idea which does not work, the community rejects it, deeming it nonoperational. Companies will be able to access more filtering options and send invitations only to their selected engineers, which would ensure a better customized experience and quality results. In 2013, when a pilot project was tested, around 700 people joined. Now, the first projects of 2014 are expected to attract up to 1000 people willing to work together. Tudor believes that the most efficient, cost-effective and disruptive solutions will come from open communities like Dreamups. The final products resulting from collaborations would be subject to the Creative Commons* licensing. The team behind the company has always been international, and the majority of them still work from different cities but plan to eventually establish themselves in Amsterdam. “We would love to be a startup all the time, to enjoy the flexibility. But I would say it is going to take us five years to move beyond this phase”, Tudor shares. The Dreamups website ( is in its final stages of development and went live in March 2014. *Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization, issuing free legal tools for products of creative work. According to CC licensing rules, all those contributing to the product creations on the basis of Dreamups will become the collective owners. CC licenses also foster free usage of sharing of created products. (

Tudor Tarlev NRG Magazine 33

Q&A with Dr.Finance


NRG Magazine is dedicating a new section for Q&A with our financing expert, Gerard van Baar. If you have any questions to be answered in the next editions of the magazine, shoot us an e-mail at

Financing in Startups Is investing in a startup incubator worth it? How would you measure the ROI? -Cristiám Schalper from GiveO2-

Starting a company from scratch is difficult enough. Incubator centres can help tremendously by giving support on all the things you never thought about: organizational, fiscal, financial, marketing, and –last but not least – experience. American research has indicated that incubator support can double the chances of a startup of getting through the critical first phase. Incubators come in different colors. The new trend now is pressure cooking, short-term ones like Startupbootcamp and Rockstart. Their concepts are rolled-out internationally with competitions to win support. Rockstart even has a special competition in Amsterdam focused on smart energy with an international selection of startups reaching as far as Chile. Part of both concepts, is the support of experienced entrepreneurs as coaches. The goal is to get the startup to the next phase, meaning success in raising funds. The next question is: what happens afterwards? Rabobank already has reacted with a new program: “Ready2scale,” effectively helping startups in their next phases after the boot camps. The effect of Rockstart and Startupbootcamp is much broader than only helping 20/30 companies to the next phase. Their focus on exposure to society and the media along all steps of the camp makes that more and more people will see the possibilities of starting up and innovating. They also create a central platform for big companies to see what is happening and choose and pick startup companies they like. The pressure cooking, short-term concept makes this very attractive for big name sponsors. We shouldn’t be surprised if this whole concept is likely to expand considerably the coming years.

Product applications exist that are short-term. How do you apply a lease construction for short-term applications? -Jurrian Knijtijzer from WOODStacker-

One of the most interesting initiatives of the last couple of years is the Circular Economy (CE) from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation ( Helped by McKinsey’s smooth analysis, they are rapidly bringing the business case of the CE. This made Philips join last year as founding partner: they simply realized the enormous (financial) benefits to do so. The CEO of Philips said on occasion: “A circular economy requires innovation in the area of materials, component and product reuse, as well as related business models. By using materials more effectively, economic growth will eventually be decoupled from the use of natural resources and ecosystems. In such an economy, the lower use of raw materials allows us to create more value.” One of the foreseen changes in business models is the shift from ownership towards usage. This shift needs new products like leasing for usage we never thought of before - take lighting, for instance. But we also need new models enabling us to estimate the risks for financing this leasing. At the same time there is a huge opportunity to invest in companies that use circular processes to get lower costs of productions and therefore better returns. Lower exposure towards resources means also, less risk.

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Given all this, it is no surprise that well known Rabobank and PGGM, the pension giant with EUR 140 billion to manage, also joined a CE initiative - the business case is there, for sure.

Q&A with Dr.Finance

How can I grow in the best and safest way, using whatever finances possible? Where can I apply for extra funding? Should I apply for external funding? - Aaldrik Haijer from Water & Energy Solutions -

In some shape or form, investing in your company is inevitable. Even if you do not need machineries or other assets, you at least need your own time. Most people are aware of this and have money set aside which enables them to start up. Regardless of the amount set aside, the first thing to do is to make the best cash flow forecast possible, simply by spelling out the foreseen cash in and outs, line by line. This also needs to be updated frequently. It will tell you a lot about your own company and volatility of your cash flows. Even if you do not foresee the requirement of additional funds in the near future, it is still worthwhile to start arranging for external funding. Arranging funding takes lots of time and is easier to arrange for when you still have that time, as opposed to if you’re faced with a situation when your back is against the wall. At the same time, if you’re able to show some track record with your product on the market, this will help considerably.

It is good to understand the difference between debt and equity. Even if you have proven technology and a running business, you still need equity as security for external funding. There is a saying that says that every financing case is about equity. Meaning, the more equity you have, the easier it will be to arrange for external funding and the other way around. If you’re going for innovative techniques or new services that have not yet been proven, it means your profile is risky. Banks will not be able to provide fundings because they are risk averse. They provide loans and for loans you need securities like receivables, stock, or a signed contract with a promising client. For innovation funding, you need to look for specialized funds (which may be managed by banks) or informal investors. You need risk capital, either as equity or subordinated loans. Again, the sooner you get in contact, the better. You should be prepared that investors may ask the

biggest share of the pie, simply because they have the money and you don’t. Apart from financial benefits, investors could be very helpful as experts who can give you key tips and tricks. For energy businesses there is an extra regulatory risk. This makes it very hard to predict where the market is going. Also, typical products that enable energy savings and seem from a rational point of view “a no-brainer,” still have a hard time because they need upfront cash outs (think about LED). To make the picture complete - over the lifetime of a company or product, you do need different kinds of financing measures. Effectively, this means you have to ensure that knowledge about finance is part of your company’s DNA. Success!

Sustainable investments ask for a long-term commitment with eventually a large profit rather than a short-term commitment with a relative smaller profit. How do we convince investors to have a bit more patience and do the right thing for our planet and their wallet? -Jurrian Knijtijzer from WOODStacker-

What could help considerably in appreciating sustainable investments is to focus on the long term gains instead of the short-term. This sounds easy but is incredibly difficult. Throughout the whole investment community and large corporations, remuneration is based on short-term gains. Keynes already pointed out that people prefer to consume today instead of waiting a couple of years. The focus on short-termism, including the bonuses for short-term profits is said to be one of the underlying causes of the financial crisis. Unilever is seen as the “white raven” in this respect: moving away from quarterly profit figures and changing management incentives accordingly. They do so because their whole strategy is focused

on long-term goals including sustainability. Combining those long-term strategic goals with short-term profit bonuses would simply frustrate the strategy. There is the important initiative on integrated reporting by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). IIRC is changing reporting from looking back at results, towards looking forward to the strategy - integrating all different aspects, not only financial but also sustainability. This is where management capabilities are key. Where will the company go to in the future? Not only tomorrow, but also in five years time? How will constraints of resources or climate change be dealt with? Long-termism will come, but slowly. We ourselves also can do a lot. Pension funds

often defend their short-termism with their fiduciary duty: they are obliged to get the best result for their participants. Those participants are all among us. We should be more active either as pension fund participants or helping to change pension fund investment policies. Gerard van Baar Gerard van Baar is an independent consultant. Previously, Mr. Van Baar held various positions in energy and finance related business. Amongst others, Mr. Van Baar was Managing Director Finance & Sustainability of the Holland Financial Centre. In this position, he was involved in the plans for and discussions on the Green Investment Corporation. Mr. Van Baar also raised Deloitte’s European Energy & Commodity Risk Management practice. Contact:

NRG Magazine 35

Expert Section | Robbin van der Linde

Building the Joint Energy System Robbin van der Linde Project Manager of European Projects at Energy Valley Foundation

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Expert Section | Robbin van der Linde

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to face the fact: Europe desperately needs to build a secure, clean and integrated energy system. Of course, this won’t happen overnight but slowly and surely we can look at this development among regions – the North Sea, for instance. The European North Sea Energy Alliance (ENSEA), through Energy Valley, has been working on a project which has been evaluating the potential for small to medium enterprises (SME)’s across varying regions of the North Sea, to add to these developments.


ach area around the North Sea holds a specific specialization. For instance, Norway specializes in hydro electricity while the northern region of the Netherlands specializes in utilizing gas expertise and infrastructure for more durable alternatives. Nonetheless, all countries around the North Sea, if combining their specializations, can facilitate the transition to an efficient and integrated energy system. The ENSEA project focuses on trying to define opportunities for regions to cooperate better and work towards the energy system of the future. In order to do so, Robbin van der Linde, project manager of European projects at the Energy Valley Foundation, explains that the main challenge in this process is currently on involving SME’s around the North Sea to take full advantage of business- and innovation opportunities outside their own region. ENSEA’s ultimate goal is to have a better integrated energy system within and around the North Sea and establish partners in networks around the region that can be worked with. Cooperation should in theory, be easy since there is a shared problem – how to tackle the energy transition – and the North Sea region (not to mention, Europe as a whole) needs to come up with a plan to store energy, balance the grid and develop renewables. As stated by Robbin, “in this process, we should be better able to reap the benefits of cooperating with other regions with different but complementary specializations.”

“We want to support entrepreneurs in seeing the links in how to get from a business opportunity to generating actual business…” From this perspective, networks of innovative SME’s are being developed through ENSEA’s in-depth analysis of regional innovation capacity and opportunities for funding and financing. “We have recognized business opportunities outside of our regions, recognized funding opportunities (regionally, nationally and at the EU level), and besides funding, we have analyzed

infrastructures for entrepreneurs and technical aspects to develop complementary, interregional networks of innovative SME’s,” shares Robbin. It’s the combination of all of these aspects that determines where the right market for a particular SME is, and how to obtain the funding to take full advantage of these opportunities. The answer isn’t found so simply since it is dependent on the kind of technology or product an SME offers. ENSEA will organize regional events to offer information about funding and market opportunities to help move SME’s through the innovation chain. “We want to support entrepreneurs in seeing the links in how to get from a business opportunity to generating actual business…this is what we intend to do via these workshops,” according to Robbin. There are numerous possibilities but it’s often about integrating technologies and applying existing ideas to new markets. Options for financing at the moment lie in different levels of government. The European Union has the most specific policy on how the energy system should be developing and they offer funding instrument to support necessary innovations. National funding exists for the same purpose but on a smaller scale and without a clear understanding about how the European energy system will develop in the future. Regional financing is aimed at existing groups of entrepreneurs or existing developments each region would like to support in their best interest. “All of these funding opportunities on different levels have influence on different parts of the innovation chain and that’s what makes it difficult for entrepreneurs to find the funding and financing they need to develop the necessary innovations and their business– because there is a whole matrix to look at,” states Robbin. The ENSEA project involves regions of Scotland, Northern Germany, West Norway and the Northern Netherlands, is funded by the EU and will be running until October2015. As of now, they aim to support an efficient energy transition around the North Sea by giving entrepreneurs an EU perspective on the energy transition through information on funding, recognition of business opportunities and ultimately facilitating export. ENSEA is currently preparing a Joint Action Plan to determine how different regions can make use of each other’s talented SME’s. Initial results of these efforts will be presented at the ENSEA Midterm Conference which will take place in Stavanger, Norway in May 2014.1 Something to look forward to! 1

NRG Magazine 37

offiCial hoST:

may 13-14, 2014 amSTerdam arena



parTiCipanTS laST year

more Then 28 CounTrieS were preSenT laST year!

The SmarT CiTy revoluTion: be inSpired and geT ConneCTed!


Smart City Event 2014

The City of the Future has to be Smart How do we build a world full of smart cities?

Cities all over the world struggle to keep their cities livable and sustainable. They have to become “smart� and it will take time for this transformation. On the 13th & 14th of May, 2014 more than 350 representatives from cities, energy companies and technology suppliers from all over the world will come together at the Amsterdam Arena to share knowledge concerning the development of Smart Cities around the globe. The official host of this event is Amsterdam Smart City. Here’s a sneak preview of some keynote speakers of the 4th edition of the Smart City Event.

NRG Magazine 39

Smart City Event 2014

Ger Baron

Program & Cluster Manager, Amsterdam Economic Board

May 13th, Opening of the Smart City Event @ 9:15


here’s no such thing as a smart city. A smart city is in general, I would say, a city that provides all the services and the quality its citizens need…” People’s needs are changing and Ger thinks that a smart city is basically the same city we used to have, only integrated with communication infrastructures, still providing the quality of life people want. “We want to be connected to the internet, have access to information, information on how we can go to work as quickly as possible, information about health care and how to generate or energy locally” – this is the communication infrastructure we need. The concept of sharing information is not new though – 400 years ago, Amsterdam become the richest city in the world because it shared information about cargo, trade and it had the first stock exchange in the first news paper. Thus, the DNA of the city didn’t really change, but new infrastructures give us the opportunity to improve services and quality of life.

“The biggest challenge in creating a smart city is involving all the right stakeholders, people, everybody in the city to develop the city and transform it.” Cities in transformation offer new purpose – office building move to living areas or living areas for students are becoming living areas for the elderly, or the other way around. “The real challenge is to continuously look at the city in transformation and not to think that you can make a plan for the next 20 years, because I think that’s where it goes wrong for most cities that do that.” The other challenge is to make sure you have the right incentives for the private and public sector to collaborate. Join Ger on May 13th to find out how to tackle these challenges.

Carlo Ratti

Director of the SENSEable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of the Technology

May 13th, Keynote Opening (subsequent discussion) @ 9:20


strongly believe in a city in which technologies are at the service of people – Senseable Cities.”

The vision of “Senseable Cities” entails a city which focuses more on human rather than on technology. “They are senseable and able to sense.” These cities are part of the revolutionary digitization process and we need to study them in order to be able to understand them and guide them. SENSEable City Lab does just this, studying how new technologies impact urban studies and how the unprecedented interaction of the digital and physical would affect the way we understand, design and ultimately live in cities. Sensors and digital-control technologies can transform cities into “computers in open air.” Information collected through sensor technologies can help us understand, design and manage smart cities better. Find out what strategies are needed to improve people’s lives on May 13th at the Keynote Opening session! 40 NRG Magazine

Keynote Speakers Smart City Event 2014

Smart City Event 2014

Anthony Townsend

Research Director,Technology Horizons Program for the Institute for the Future & author of “SMART CITIES: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for a New Utopia”

May 13th, Keynote Speech @ 9:50 - Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for a New Utopia


don’t think that a few years ago people would have expected that city governments would be calling the shots.” Anthony Townsend captures the dilemma of the cities of the future: how to use technology “to address both the timeless challenges of government and the mounting problems posed by human settlements of previously unimaginable size and complexity.” For Townsend, the solutions will be found within a constellation of smaller players in the marketplace and “the kinds of things that will be citizendriven and informal efforts.” The current state of affairs is promising for the small business and citizen-led technology projects, since the economy hasn’t allowed local governments to invest in large-scale and expensive technology. Townsend advises participants all over the world. “I believe the key challenge right now is figuring out how cities comprehensively plan the digital urban realm and its integration with the physical, economic and social realm that is shaped by policy and planning.” Join the conversation at the Smart City Event to find out what smart city strategies, policies, programs and sources for funding look like in the next 5-10 years.

Joost Brinkman

Lead Accenture Sustainable Services

May 13th, How to TRANSFORM torwards a Smart Energy City @ 13:05

What: Smart City Event 2014 Including: keynote speeches, co-creations sessions, inspiring labs, excursions, round table sessions and a networking dinner When: 13th & 14th of May 2014 Where: Amsterdam Arena, Netherlands Price: € 499,- 1 day, € 699,- 2 days


he biggest challenge to develop a smart city project is a real long term commitment from the city.” We need real long term commitments from cities, and private companies to ensure that they are investing in innovative kinds of solutions and ones where data can be used to make decisions. We also need common visions. The biggest challenge is to bring all the stakeholders together within a city and that means a lot of people and a lot of companies to work together to be really smart. Accenture is helping with those innovations on multiple levels – “on the one hand we are investing for instance in this project called Transform, where we really develop a decision, support environments for cities to work on, but we also support an innovator start-up challenge. We also organize the Accenture Innovation Awards yearly, where we see a lot of innovations coming and we also try to put them into the ecosystem of Amsterdam.” Another challenge to overcome is to inform citizens about why they should participate in smart city projects and what could be in it for them. Find out how to transform a city into a Smart Energy City on May 13th @ 13:05.

NRG Magazine 41

Top Sector Energy | Frits Verheij

Plugged-in to Smart Grids: Laying the Foundation for Smart Cities

As Chairman of the Top Consortium for Knowledge and Innovation- Switch2Smart Grids (TKI S2SG) from the Top Sector Energy in the Netherlands, Frits Verheij has been actively involved in defining themes and determining criteria for the TKI S2SG Innovation Program. These themes and criteria enabled independent experts appointed by the Minister of Economic Affairs to select eleven key smart grid projects for the tender in 2013 to receive subsidies from the Dutch government. Projects were selected out of 22 proposals with a subsidy amount of €5.35 million. Frits justifies why some projects were just better than the rest, talks about the status quo of smart grid innovations in the Netherlands and elaborates on the importance of these innovations.

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he TKI S2SG Innovation Program was established with financial support from the Dutch government and the board consists of representatives from industry players and knowledge institutions. Initially in 2012, and agreed upon by a large number of stakeholders in the Netherlands, €11 million was needed in the form of subsidies from the government, and the rest from industry players and knowledge institutions. That same year, the Innovation Contract for Smart Grids 2012 was drawn upon several topics for the subsidy program: • • • •

Physical infrastructure Virtual infrastructure New services and products Institutional and social innovation

Within these themes, key topics were determined for 2012 and 2013, however, in 2013 the Ministry of Economic Affairs published a subsidy scheme with tightened financial means focused around the initial themes. Thus, in 2013, the subsidy amount was reduced to €5.35 million. Although the board of TKI S2SG does not select the proposals themselves, they are responsible for selecting the key topics for the tenders and project proposals. Projects proposals that were put forth were asked to cover one of these themes and also ensure that project teams would consist of at least one company, combined with a knowledge institution or university. The first selection was set on the basis if whether or not the project suited one of these themes. Secondly, projects could score on the following criteria: economic and/or scientific value to the Netherlands, quality of the project team including trust in the consortium proposing the project (do they have the right expertise and are the partners the right ones to address the topic), in the project managers (does this person has the right skills and expertise), the innovative aspects of the project (did it bring new knowledge, new products and/ or new services ) and how much money was asked as the percentage of total budget. Frits shares that

"the projects selected by the independent Expert Group to receive a subsidy scored high on these criteria– so it was really a ranking system and the best 50% were lucky, and the other 50% had bad luck.”

Top Sector Energy | Frits Verheij

In the Netherlands, we’re doing quite well in terms of R&D on smart grids: “we are regarded as system innovators,” says Frits. “We integrate various technologies and various services from different companies, into one new system. So, instead of looking on how to improve a battery for instance, in the Netherlands, we would more look at how the battery can help you improve your physical infrastructure, as an example.” This is what Frits believes the Netherlands excels at. Many SME’s are doing research in a systematic way and are propelling the knowledge on smart grids, which is very important.“There are also distribution network operators (DNO) who are really innovative – I think especially Alliander, Enexis, and Stedin, although I recognize good examples in smaller DNOs as well,” states Frits. The eleven projects that were chosen to receive subsidies are: Title Abbreviation Secretariat Smart Grid in Balance


Green Flux Assets  

Smart Planning Splat Enexis High Tech Campus: HTC SG the world's smartest grid!

Consulting & Engineering Environmental Daut

PowerMatching City to the Peopl

DNV GL - Energy


Flexible and Future   SPEED Power Links for Smart Grids

DNV GL - Energy

Smart Grid Evolution: SGE IoE Developing  a service platform for the Internet of Energy

Cogas Infrastructure and Management

Developing a sustainable   quick charger powered by the sun

Hurdles to Overcome The challenges we encounter today when implementing smart grid projects relate to (1) end-user engagement and (2) how to approach scaling up projects. “It’s important to make sure project participants and energy consumers are familiar with the technology, educate them, make sure they know the technology and that it’s not bothering them,” shares Frits. “When end user’s comfort is hurt – they will quit.” He suggests constant communication with end users and appointing ambassadors in the community who are spokesmen for the whole community engaged in the projects. The second challenge is the need to up scale projects from what we see today – from several hundred consumers to several thousand consumers. The challenge lies in having to redefine financing mechanisms, and making sure new technology and tools are functioning properly as it becomes impossible to communicate with participants one-on-one. “You won’t have time to solve technical issues on an individual level,” shares Frits. “The next step will be to make sure technology is really working in the field and ensuring a real business case. This is the challenge now for this year and the next few years, apart from engagement.”

Power by the sun Mister Green Products

Smart Grid V2X V2X Cofely Energy & Mobility Cost Efficient Energy Management Koempel at business level in Limburg


Monitoring and Management of  Buildings for Smart Grid


IPSUM Holding

Accessible Energy Information



Learning from Others Although the Netherlands is cooperating with Belgium’s Smart Grid Flanders and strengthening relationships with Germany for instance, we can still take notes from exemplary projects around the world: Jeju Island (South Korea) Smart Grid Test-Bed1 covering 6000 homes, the UK’s first smart grid project on Orkney Island (Scotland)2 designed to accelerate commercialization of new technologies, and the Ecogrid EU smart grid demonstration project 3 on the Danish island of Bornholm which is providing valuable lessons on how utilities can better engage customers. These are just a few projects the Netherlands can learn from, according to Frits. TKI S2SG has also become involved with the EU organization ERA-NET and with the Global Smart Grid Federation to connect with other foreign smart grid ideas and implement cross-border projects. With all these advances in smart grid innovations and plans to expand and collaborate - it’s time that the Netherlands set some examples for the world to follow. uploads/2012/09/cl_jeju_09_121.pdf 2 3 1

NRG Magazine 43

CGI | Jos Siemons

CGI Leading

in Smart Grids It’s rather difficult to miss CGI as the most diversified firm in the global market place for smart grids, and IDC MarketScape has definitely noticed. In their vendor assessment (IDC MarketScape: Worldwide IT Professional Services for Utility Smart Grid 2014 Vendor Assessment) 1, IDC has named CGI as one of the three global leaders for smart grid services. With this recognition, NRG Magazine looked into what made the firm stand out over the rest, from CGI’s perspective.

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Jos Siemons

CGI | Jos Siemons

“CGI in the Netherlands is a pioneer when it’s about smart grids – we are not waiting until the compelling event is there, we are acting as entrepreneurs to develop solutions for the future.”


os Siemons is responsible for the Smart Energy portfolio within CGI, Netherlands. He takes care of solutions relating to demand side management, new ways to charge electric vehicles, managing renewables and then of course managing smart grid solutions, most importantly. He’s the one that has made it clear to NRG Magazine that there are quite a few operational aspects that CGI excels in, when compared to competitors. “CGI’s approach to smart energy is a combination of having a vision and applying that vision to practice,” shares Jos. That vision focuses on the fact that the world is changing in terms of energy and mobility. Where some believe that renewables and electric vehicles may threaten energy grids, CGI finds the perfect opportunity to create an ideal balance. Throughout the process of developing solutions, the end user remains the main focus to ensure successful rollout in the end. In collaboration with different countries and partners, CGI applies their knowledge to practice and continues to evolve by learning from every project. They are currently involved in high-focus smart grid projects such as InovGrid in Portugal and Low Carbon London in the UK. They also provide asset, resource and workforce management systems for 60 top utilities in North America and hold long-term outsourcing relationships in Portugal, Brazil, UK and France. 2 In the Netherlands, as frontrunner on smart grids, CGI is developing new solutions on EV charging, developing open smart grid platforms, and running the central market facilitation systems. To add, in the UK, they have been recently appointed as the Data Service Provider for the roll-out of 53 million smart

gas and electricity meters. Jos explains that “CGI in the Netherlands is a pioneer when it’s about smart grids – we are not waiting until the compelling event is there, we are acting as entrepreneurs to develop solutions for the future.” Although there is no real business case yet for smart grids, CGI does not hold still on innovation and continues preparing for the future of smart energy. By investing in these innovations, they can set the stage for smart grids, learn through their practice and enhance their vision, as necessary. CGI is also acclaimed to have a diversified portfolio of services, many of which are available globally. Jos shares some insight about the solutions CGI develops: “our vision involves building innovative solutions for the market, that are offered as services and are available across multiple countries, not just the ones in which they are developed.” For example, they have developed EV charging solutions in the Netherlands, but now have the services running in six different European countries. Of all these solutions, one of them stands out the most and is most sought out, globally: CEMS. CEMS, in full form is known as the Central Energy Management System and is a solution for demand side management. In short, CEMS (e.g.) supports clusters of smart houses of the future, equipped with smart appliances and smart meters that measure the supply of energy to the home and can provide incentives to influence the energy demand and create flexibility. This is to help occupants make smart decisions about energy usage. The CEMS project is in pilot phase at the moment, located in Zwolle and Breda, in partnership with Enexis.

Enexis has recognized the need to invest in innovation as well to propel the smart grid movement, as well. Else Veldman, Manager of Innovation at Enexis: “Enexis stimulates its customers to change their behavior and use energy for their daily life at alternative times to reduce peak load. In this way, less investment in network capacity is needed. In order to achieve this, the application of ICT in our distribution grids is vital.” So far, the pilot project has shown first insights such as end-users being flexible to move the energy consumption, and that financial incentives are the best driver. The final results of the CEMS pilot are expected to be delivered in 2015. So why has the recognition of being a leader in smart grids been well deserved by CGI? It comes down to two things – most smart grid companies focus either on IT services or on operational technology but CGI’s strength is that they focus on both, IT and OT. “When talking about smart grids, it’s crucial to implement the combination of the two because smart grids are connecting all kinds of devices in the field (like solar panels, charging points, and smart homes) and then follows the implementation of CRM billing systems. We integrate these aspects and that is where we differentiate ourselves from others,” Jos says. There’s one more aspect that defines CGI as a global leader in smart grids and that is the fact that they are very well informed about the processes in the utility market and, with this, they are able to find well fitting IT solutions for the market processes and offer the right implementations. 1


NRG Magazine 45

s t c a F G R N on or Ficti

What’s better than knowing fact from fiction? NRG Magazine sheds some light on the newest and quirkiest developments in the energy field to keep you up-to-date and informed. This time we’ve chosen to write about new ways to use sugar, potatoes, flowers and more… don’t worry, we wouldn’t give it all away. C12H22O11

Could the Energy Revolution be Powered by Potatoes?

46 NRGMagazine Magazine 44 NRG

NRG Facts or Fiction

FICTION: Flowers serve to color to our world.

What the FONT?! NRG Magazine Magazine45 47 NRG

Back to the Future | Paul van Son

Back to the future

with Paul van Son There’s always a story behind great success. NRG Magazine’s Back to the Future section focuses on great minds that have contributed to the energy world for the better. Paul van Son, from Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii) tells us about his journey in becoming CEO of Dii and about the hidden treasure of the desert.

48 NRG Magazine

Back to the Future | Paul van Son


t takes a certain kind of person to be appointed head of an alliance operating in a market where no one has stepped foot in before. In 2009, Paul van Son became CEO of the Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii), with 30 years of experience in the energy domain under his belt. Among his experience, he has held several top management and executive positions in the energy market, including renewable energy such as non-food biomass for power supply, wind power and marketing green power. He is co-founder European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET) and also Chairman of the Energy4all Foundation, being a non-profit organization promoting decentralized energy and communication systems in Africa. If you look at this remarkable man’s résumé, the list wouldn’t end here. It’s not a surprise he was chosen to fulfill the position at Dii. His interest in green energy comes from the recognition that basic needs are not being met for the world’s growing population and one of these needs include access to renewable energy.

In energy we are just at the beginning of a major paradigm change.The whole energy sector is migrating from fossil fuels and nuclear, to an energy sector that will be less dependent on oil, gas, coal and uranium. Really, there is a lot left to do for this transition.

Mr. Van Son, in his role at Dii, plays an integral role in easing the transition from traditional to renewable energy and offers such an alternative to renewable energy as found in the desert. Dii is a business alliance of international companies with the same objective: to help create a commercial marketplace for renewable energy using solar and wind power from the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East. The energy found in these desserts is first intended to be used for local consumption, and then to improve the energy mix in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe (EUMENA) overtime. Dii’s role in the process of establishing such a marketplace is to inform key players about the required political, regulatory, financial, (socio-) economic and technological conditions required to build this marketplace. Mr. Van Son states that “the first objective for Dii was to give structure to the debate on renewable energy from

the desert, which includes offering facts and figures, the economic importance and how we can direct the market.” Dii has met their primary objective thus far, by publishing their study in 2012 on desert power: “Desert Power 2050: Perspectives on a Sustainable Power System for EUMENA.” This study shows that desert power holds the capacity to create a secure, affordable and clean electricity supply for EUMENA. Desert power will lead to substantial cost reductions, foster broader cooperation, enable economic growth and job creation and it guarantees climate protection.1 Last year, Dii also published a report on practical recommendations: “Desert Power – Getting Started.” It talks about the practical implications of establishing desert power during the upcoming decades as a renewable energy source, including first steps needed exactly on the long road toward a fossil free EUMENA region: (1) install at least 50GW of renewable in the MENA regions by 2020; (2) complete the Mediterranean power circuit with back-to-back HVDC lines; (3) install one or two initial intercontinental power lines between North Africa and Europe for exchanging electricity vice versa and creating economically viable purchasing conditions .2 By sharing this information Dii acts as a bridge between the developing desert power marketplace and the players needing to get there. Inevitably, Mr. Van Son has encountered great accomplishments and of course disappointments along his journey as CEO of Dii. “I’ve never had a greater achievement in my career like the combination of the public and private sector being brought together to work towards a marketplace for renewable energy in the desert. It’s a great movement,” he shares. Dii managed to mobilize international industry forces for this idea about desert energy, which is quite new. “We managed to convince governments in North Africa, directly and indirectly, that renewable energy in the desert is their future and the way to go.” His greatest disappointment continues to be the lacking communal policy for the European Union on the real energy transition which should be encountered in the coming decades. “There is no real focus in European countries on main objectives – energy availability at low costs which is environmentally friendly and high energy security.” He has noticed that these objectives are nearly nowhere to be seen

in Europe, and countries as still pursuing their own interests instead of working together on this topic. As it stands, there is still one major challenge needing to be tackled. "It is extremely difficult," according to Mr. Van Son, “to convince the political arena in the European countries about the great need to create a level playing field and invest in transmission grids that connect the markets so we can capture synergies.”It is important that each level of government understands the importance for their own country to engage in renewable practice and not disturb the process due to misunderstandings, bureaucracy or hidden agendas. The major challenge here is making sure everyone fully understands the need to turn to renewable energy and the desert's huge potential. Dii holds a really simple business plan, which makes it easy to engage with these guys. Their shareholders pay most of their costs and on occasion, they have joint studies with the EU commission or local governments which also offer them funding. Primarily, they are not a consultant in the market, and their services are not paid for as such. The present day is critical for Dii as they approach the next five years as they key phase in which the market for desert power develops. “Ten years ago,” Mr. Van Son shares, “our ideas were being discussed and investigated. Five years ago, we started looking at Dii for practical implementations and recently, we started the discussion with shareholders about the first harvest in front of us. It’s the next five years where the market will actually emerge in the EUMENA region.” This is being proven with all the real reference projects (Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria) that are being developed that Dii continues to monitor, analyze and support. Although there are financial risks, with selective government guarantees, local and international players are expected to invest and give structure to the market with international frameworks, in development. “Despite all the risk factors, we see that this market is really starting to break through,” concludes Mr. Van Son. 1


TIPS FOR TALENT “Be authentic, be yourself and look at what the real objectives are. Don’t run after big stories too much. There is a lot of work to be done in energy so, it’s a great market to be in.” NRG Magazine 49

TTA World | Talents in the Spotlight



Study Programme: Master Management of Technology at Delft University of Technology

Talents in the

Spotlight “Facing the trouble is winning half the battle!”


fter completing her Bachelor in Computer Science Engineering in India, Bedashrita started working as a programmer and began to realize how much the IT industry will be driven by innovation in the near future. “I decided to pursue my higher studies in a field where I would be able to stay rooted to ICT, yet be involved with innovations,” says Bedashrita. For this reason, she chose her master study in Management of Technology.

“I like to think creatively and out of the box while I am busy writing poetry or designing a business plan.”

Talent: Bedashrita has an “Innovator” and “Regulator” talent. These two talents combined make her into a “Strategist”, foreseeing future possibilities and trends and at the same time, while focusing on today’s facts and figures – quite a rare and interesting talent.

As President of the Science and Nature club, she conducted green programs and awareness workshops on saving Mother Nature. She is still currently involved in an environment initiative (Ecolution) sharing environmental awareness among youth. This was also one of the reasons for participating in the NRG Battle, because she always wanted to stay involved in natural and practical issues which need urgent attention.“I believe that one of the major challenges of the energy sector today is coming up with alternative and renewable sources of energy at a low cost and diffusing the technology to the parts of the world where conditions are favorable enough for harvesting this renewable energy.” She feels that multinational companies should take the role of investing in diffusing technology for harvesting renewable energy (RES), especially in countries where these resources are abundant and at the same time, creating a business plan for receiving benefits. Green ICT holds Bedashrita’s interest: “I love to work on projects where green ICT can be used as a metric for reducing the carbon levels and harmful chemical wastes generated by other industries…” While working on a venture to commercialize the strategies of a green car parking and spread the benefits of fuel cell technology, she was selected for the NRG Battle by Rosen Inspection Europe through TTA World. Her team’s challenge was to propose an innovative solution for the base load concept of offshore wind parks. The solution was about using elemental silicon as an energy carrier and this brought their team to the finals of NRG Battle. Bedashrita shares that “winning the NRG Battle 2013 was an awesome moment. Interacting with company Rosen and the other companies was great and helps to get a holistic picture of all the different minds which are behind innovative solutions trying to reform the society.” “I personally feel the NRG Battle is one of the most organized competitions that I have come across in Europe. Starting from processing of applications, bringing students in contact with companies, updating on the new events in the energy sector, it is a great platform through which students can make their ideas heard in a bigger forum…TTA World can play the perfect bridge between industry and academia in times of energy crisis in the world.” Currently, Bedashrita is pursuing her graduation project on creating sustainability assessment frameworks for emerging trends in green ICT that can attract stakeholder participation in a green economy. Her thesis is collaboration between the GreenICT Foundation of the Netherlands and TU Delft.

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TTA World | Talents in the Spotlight

TTA World identifies high-potential individuals

by testing their talents and finding their key assets. NRG Magazine has selected a couple of talented participants from the NRG Battle 2013 to highlight their unique attributes which are composed of their talents, personalities and skills. This time around, we chose M.R Tabasum and Bedashrita Chattoraj. Read their stories here!

Muhammad Ramzan


Study Programme: PhD Nanomaterials Manugacturing and Characterization

“It’s not from where you started; it’s where you are going that matters. The sky is not the limit!” Born in Pakistan and coming from a developing country, Tabasum has a deep insight into the ground realities of those nations. “I see myself serving as a bridge for the energy sector business between the developed and underdeveloped countries and would like to initiate “project development and management” between the fore mentioned stake holders.” In Pakistan, he got his Bachelor in Engineering with great distinction and won two gold medals for overall best performance during his engineering studies. Awarded with an Erasmus Mundus fellowship from the European Commission, he star ted Double Master in Germany and Belgium. He now has two master degrees in Materials Engineering with distinction from two European institutions and started his PhD in University of Louvain, Belgium. His project is in the field of nanomanufacturing and characterization and is multifold. It has applications in data storage technology and also conversion of CO 2 into energy/fuel. In 2013, Tabasum won the European Materials Research Society “Young Scientist Award”. He is the author of two journal and a few international conference papers. “Right now my short term plan is to work for a PhD diploma and for the long term to achieve the best position as an engineer and manager in a prominent energy company.” Challenging issues including evolution from fossil fuels to renewable energy drive him.

“Dream it, work it and achieve it.”

The biggest challenge Tabasum sees is that of imbalance; “the energy sector is facing the waste of renewable energy at different locations in developed countries and unavailability in underdeveloped highly populated countries.” According to Tabasum, it would be interesting to invest in the use of energy storage devices and worldwide smart grids that will provide energy from the regions where the renewable energy is present to regions where it is needed at the given time. Another very impor tant issue is managing CO 2 emissions and an efficient switch from fossil to green energy. Tabasum thought of solutions for these challenges: “I would suggest to re-use CO 2 , mix it with hydrogen and conver t it to fuels (as nature does with the CO 2 ).This is an essential step if we are really serious in making our planet worth living in coming decades as it is impossible that we abandon fossil fuels and switch from fossil fuels to green energy in some years!” His prime objective in the NRG Battle was to mingle with the fresh minds and experienced professionals. Another aim was to discuss the present and future challenges of energy sector and to figure out the different solutions. The challenge Spirit IT gave them was to create global awareness about green and grey energy. The team’s idea was to provide software (a mobile application) to which consumers get informed about the greenness of their energy providers and what steps they take for bettering humanity. In the team, Tabasum was not only a creator of ideas, but also the technical exper t. The idea to measure real time data on CO 2 emissions to inform the public with an app smoothed their way into finals. To Tabasum, “NRG Battle, was not only marvelous but also delightful.” For more information on how TTA World tests talents and what they can do for your company, please contact Geertje Dam at

Talent: Tabasum has a “Regulator” talent. He likes controllable sets of working methods and brings dedication, reliability and improvement to the table in a structured and organized manner.

NRG Magazine 51

Innovating with Energy Academy Europe

Energy Academy Europe Working for Innovative

Entrepreneurs in Energy

Innovation is at the heart of the Energy Academy Europe (EAE). EAE is not only furthering cooperation in innovative research, it’s also developing a structure for supporting young entrepreneurs, corporate entrepreneurs and new and innovative businesses in energy.


he EAE aims to translate knowledge that is present or is being developed in knowledge institutes and industry into innovations and new economic activity. The focus of this effort is on small and medium enterprises. They are vital to the radical innovation that is needed for the energy transition. Although they may not possess the financial clout that large companies have, start-ups and small businesses make up for that with their drive and creativity. They’ve got an important role to play in the energy transition, says Aard Groen, professor of entrepreneurship and valorisation at the University of Groningen: “Small businesses often pick up on things that big companies fail to see or regard as not worth doing. Small-scale initiatives related to the microfication of energy production, for instance, can make up a viable business case for start-ups or small enterprises. OECD figures show that small enterprises are responsible for a large share of job creation. ’’

Prof. Dr. Aard J. Groen Photo courtesy of EAE

52 NRG Magazine

The Energy Academy, says Maurits Alberda, Manager Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the EAE, wants to mobilise its network and expertise to support innovative energy businesses: “Together with Energy Valley and our partners, we want to support the development of a thriving and innovative energy business community in the northern Netherlands, and become the hotspot for entrepreneurship in energy. We hope to be able to help create 150 new businesses over the next ten years by creating an ecosystem of facilities that supports start-ups and entrepreneurs in the development of their own business.

Frans Donders Photo: Pepijn van den Broeke

This ecosystem offers a range of facilities that will benefit new and innovative companies. One example is EnTranCe (Energy Transition Center), a living lab testing facility where state-of-theart equipment, technical expertise and a networking environment come together to offer students, researchers and companies the ideal circumstances to develop innovative ideas into products ready for market. Another example of this ecosystem for innovation is EnergySense. “It is literally a living lab at people’s homes,” says Alberda. “We will be monitoring the energy consumption and behaviour in 10 000 households over a longer period of time. In that sense it’s a research programme, but we are also creating an attractive infrastructure of households with smart meters and sensors that we can offer to businesses to test their innovations.” An important pillar of this entrepreneurial support system is EnergyVentureLab. The award-winning VentureLab method has been developed by professor Groen at the University of Twente. It is a business development support programme for existing companies and new entrepreneurs. It’s an intensive programme in which participants attend training courses, receive personal coaching and are immersed in an inspiring network environment with fellow-entrepreneurs, scientists and experts. “It’s a very complete accelerator programme, says Groen, “and very wide-ranging in what participants learn. We also help with strategy development, organisation development, networking and funding.” He now wants to apply this concept at a larger scale in Groningen, where he is Dean of UGCE (University of Groningen Centre for Entrepreneurship). “We are setting up a

VentureLab Northern-Netherlands of which EnergyVentureLab will be an important part, energy being one of the main themes at Groningen. Together with the Energy Academy we are currently in the process of preparation, talking to Energy Valley, local governments and a network of coaches and experts, and we aim to start offering the programme later this year.’’ EnergyVentureLab will be tailor-made to suit both business development teams of existing companies and new businesses. Alberda says many of the future energy start-ups are likely to be set up by students after or even before graduation. The Energy Academy wants to encourage students in energy and related fields to think about entrepreneurship as a career choice. It will use a method developed by Frans M. Donders, Director of the Groningen Center for Entrepreneurship Value050 and incubator Cube050, to monitor students, assess whether they’re interested in becoming an entrepreneur in energy, whether they’ve got potential and support them with awareness, learning, coaching and incubation programmes, from their first year at university through to the moment they have successfully started their own business. In addition, the Energy Academy is, together with Aard Groen and Frans Donders, developing extracurricular activities on entrepreneurship for all interested students. There will be nine themed evenings, one of which will be about energy business. Next year, there will also be a minor in innovation and entrepreneurship, in which energy will again be one of the main themes.

NRG Magazine 53

Entrepreneurial Universities | Energy Academy Europe

Filling the

New Shoes: André Faaij @ Energy Academy It’s impossible to overstate the importance of innovation in the energy transition, says André Faaij, who has just taken up his new position as Academic Director at the Energy Academy. He emphasises that there’s a lot more to innovation than technology development.


Photo: René Keijzer

he Academic Director says he is a “doer,” who likes to make things happen and produce results. He’s enthusiastic and very keen to get on with his new job: “the area of energy is very exciting, but there’s a lot of work to be done to get the energy transition going. The formula of the Energy Academy, bringing together the industry with academic education and research, with a substantial role for the regional government, is the right one to get things done. The conglomerate around the Energy Academy, with the University of Groningen, Hanze University, the link with vocational education, Energy Valley and the Energy Delta Institute is a unique proposition that can have real impact.”

Netherlands and as one of the big players in Europe and beyond.” His own expertise is Energy System Analysis, which is also likely to be the name of the new chair he will be appointed to, as distinguished professor at Groningen University. He explains Energy System Analysis is all about an interdisciplinary approach: “to really understand issues around the energy system and changes therein, you have to bring together various methods and inputs from different disciplines. That includes pure engineering, understanding technology for example of the electricity system or transport system, but it also includes social sciences for control and management of processes. The economic aspect is also very important of course, as are environmental aspects.”

It is his duty to come up with initiatives and ensure that the network and infrastructure set up by the Energy Academy is expanded and becomes even more productive. André Faaij: “The area of energy is very dynamic and sometimes even chaotic, because there are so many goals and targets criss-crossing. It is unclear what should happen with regard to governance in the energy sector to manage the changes that the industry needs to go through or to respond to the dwindling of our gas reserves. These are enormous challenges and I hope the Energy Academy and Groningen can make a major contribution. It is my ambition that we will be recognized as the leading energy institute in the

Innovation in many different areas is crucial to the energy transition, he says. “Cost reduction is a vital element of the energy transition. We need technological development to keep the energy supply affordable. That entails accelerated innovation, scaling up and roll-out of new technologies. But we also need to come up with new policies, implementation methods and markets, which require innovative thinking. The Energy Academy is well positioned, like a spider in the web, to pull all these elements research, policy and industry – together and help identify and overcome barriers to the challenges we are facing.’’

54 NRG Magazine

Our society urgently needs a transition to a sustainable energy system.

Energy Academy Europe the Center of Excellence for Energy Education, Energy Research and Energy Innovation. Training and degrees are offered in a top research environment. One of the top research projects is the development of plastic solar cells. Prof. Dr. Kees Hummelen, ranked among the top 10 best researchers worldwide in the field of materials science: “The solar cell of the future is plastic�

We need young and motivated people to make it work.

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NRG Magazine Edition 13  

NRG Magazine has taken the new year as an opportunity to reinvent itself, with a new editorial team and a new look. We needed something fres...

NRG Magazine Edition 13  

NRG Magazine has taken the new year as an opportunity to reinvent itself, with a new editorial team and a new look. We needed something fres...

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