Highlights in 2019
Highlights in 2019

High impact innovation activity triggered by MI

In 2019 The Netherlands provided the project-leadership for the international development of a comfort climate box. This stimulates an active cooperation between international initiatives (IEA TCP’s and MI IC7), integral approach of innovation (not just technical but also social and legal aspects) where different countries bring different types of expertise to the table.

MI stimulated this activity by creating a platform for countries through which they can more easily collaborate. Also, by connecting the development to an MI Innovation Challenge, participants gained more leverage to initiate developments.

Impact of your national clean energy innovation activity

Since 2015 The Netherlands has increased public funding of energy innovation from €153 million per year to €320 million per year. This has stimulated private matching of funds from €71 million per to €209 million per year. The Netherlands was in fourth position in the Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018 of the World Economic Forum, amongst others due to the strong innovation ecosystem (as mentioned in the report). The Netherlands successfully developed (or is developing) for example:

  • ECOVAT Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage & Provider for Grid flexibility[1]
  • Lightyear
  • Ampyx Power Airborne Wind Energy System (AWES)
  • Demonstrator GE Haliade X – 12 MW offshore windturbine[2]
  • Motion Compensated Pile Gripper (MCPG)
  • Gentile driving of piles[3]
  • Supersludge[4]
  • High Performance Geothermal Well[5]
  • Zero Emission, Energy Efficient Protein Production[6]
  • ALIGN[7]
  • Heatstore[9]

Update on clean energy innovation policies and strategies

The Netherlands has set an ambitious CO2 reduction target of 49% in 2030, with a view on increasing the EU target for CO2 emission reduction to 55% in 2030 compared to 1990. The Netherlands is targeting CO2 reduction on a sectoral level with the Dutch Climate Agreement of 2019[10] for the Electricity sector, Industry, Mobility, The built environment and Agriculture & land-use. The knowledge and innovation challenges for these sectoral missions have been translated in 2019 into the mission-oriented knowledge and innovation agenda (IKIA), which contains 13 mission oriented innovation programs (MMIP’s) (see National plans and priorities section for an overview). Through sectoral Mission-oriented Innovation teams (MI-teams) – composed of end-users, private actors, knowledge institutes and government agencies – all Dutch innovation efforts concerning Climate and Energy across all TRL-levels are guided towards the MMIP’s and the missions of the Climate Agreement, creating focus and mass. The Netherlands is also currently drafting a mission oriented international innovation agenda, in line with the IKIA, so that our international efforts in various initiatives contributes to the missions of our Climate Agreement.

In total the Netherlands is committing roughly €320 million public funds and €590 million private funds per year on climate and energy innovation, through the Knowledge and Innovation Covenant for 2020[11].

Major innovation initiatives and programmes in 2019/20

With the Dutch Climate Agreement in place as well as the mission oriented knowledge & Innovation agenda derived from that, the 13 multi annual mission Oriented Innovation Programmes have been worked out in more detail.

This is achieved in a very intense collaboration between knowledge institutes, the private sector, the government and NGO’s, and were published in the fall of 2019. The involvement of NGO’s and the civil society is regarded as crucial, as transition may stall if societal engagement is not achieved.

A declaration of intent (KIC) has been drawn up and signed in mid-November by all involved parties in which the foreseen financial means have been made clear. For climate and energy there is almost €1 billion in 2020: about €320 million public funding for RDD and €590 million private funding.

2020 is the year in which execution commences. Subsidy schemes have been reshaped, for example:

  • the subsidy schemes of the Topsector Energy (MOOI, €22.5 million per year)[12] have been modified to facilitate consortia that can help deliver concrete integrated concepts that will help deliver on the set missions for 2030 in the built environment, for our renewable energy targets on land but also at sea (multi-use, eco-friendly, at a lower cost) and for the CO2 reduction targets in the industry.
  • the Energy Innovation Demonstration grant scheme (DEI+, €86 million per year)[13] has been modified to also facilitate a natural gas free built environment, a flexible energy system (storage and conversion) and CO2-reduction in industry.
  • the Dutch Research Council (NWO) has published research calls on storage and conversion[14] (€3.8 million), and Ecology and North Sea[15] (€2.8 million). In 2020 the NWO will facilitate thematic calls for the mission oriented Topsector policy (for Energy transition and Sustainability €11 million per year).

Private sector engagement in 2019/20

The Netherlands supports public-private collaboration through various policies:

  • General policies such as the public-private allowance, which facilitates private contributions for public-private partnerships for research and innovation within the Top Sectors[16].
  • Energy-innovation policies, requiring a private contribution (in-cash or in-kind), for example the Renewable Energy Scheme (HER) (on average 50%), the DEI+ (on average 75%), the MOOI (on average 40%). In 2018 private matching of funds was €209 million.
  • Private actors are part of the Mission Innovation Teams, prioritizing innovation efforts within the Mission Oriented Innovation Programs. By involving the private sector and the demand-side of innovation in aligning our energy innovation investments (from fundamental research to demonstration/implementation), policies, regulations, market conditions and international efforts we aim to create focus and mass in clean energy investments. This provides a more predictable and focussed framework for investors to invest in low-carbon innovations.
  • The Netherlands has created a new investment agency – Invest-NL – which aims to invest in innovative, low-carbon technologies with a higher risk profile. This venture capital should trigger new investments from the private sector to bring innovative technologies onto the market.
  • The Netherlands is currently creating an investment fund to enhance the structural growth of Dutch welfare. This fund will focus on education, labour, research, innovation and large transitions in for example energy, industry and agriculture.
  • In the Dutch Knowledge and Innovation Convenant (KIC)[17] both public and private actors specify their intended contribution to the Dutch mission oriented Topsector policy. This amounts to roughly €320 million public funds and €590 million private funds on climate and energy innovation.

Major activities in support of the Innovation Challenges in 2019/20

ACT ERA-NET cofund call (IC3)

Second call of €30 million to internationally accelerate CCUS technologies, with a reference to the MI-IC3 report on Priority Research Directions (PRDs). Projects have started from autumn 2019. Some of them address MI-IC3 PRDs. MI members: NO, DE, FR, NL (€4 million), UK, USA. Other: CH, ES, GR, RO, TR. Third call in preparation, where DK and the Canadian province of Alberta intend to participate as well. Relevant to MI-4 Objective: Demonstrating impact.

Biofuels (IC4)

The Netherlands actively participated in MI IC4, made the Dutch research community aware of the funding through the H2020 program and encouraged them to formulate proposals (which are currently being evaluated).

The Netherlands participated in the preparation of the BBEST/Biofuture Platform/IEA Bioenergy joint meeting about development of biofuel research and implementation, scheduled for the end of March 2020. Unfortunately this meeting is cancelled due to the Corona virus.

Comfort climate box (IC7)

The Netherlands has provided project-leadership to develop a prototype for a comfort climate box. So far 13 countries are involved, cooperation with MI members of IEA HPT/ECES network (UK, Austria, Sweden, Canada, Italy) and IEA member countries (USA, China, Germany, France, Turkey etc).  The focus is heating in combination with cooling for the residential sector. Cooling only and larger systems are expected in follow up annexes/projects.  Relevant to MI-4 Objective: Challenging Members and the Private Sector.

Hydrogen (IC8)

The Northern Netherlands has been selected by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) as the first European Hydrogen Valley. The region of the Northern Netherlands is also actively involved (on behalf of the whole of the Netherlands) in the in the efforts of FCH JU, Roland Berger and MI to establish a worldwide hydrogen valley platform and network. Also, The Netherlands has participated in workshop in the UK on blending of hydrogen.

Other Mission Innovation related activity in 2019/20

  • The Netherlands has provided a voluntary contribution to Mission Innovation in order to facilitate the Beyond 2020 workstream.
  • The Netherlands actively participates in the Beyond 2020 workstream.
  • The Netherlands participated in the 2019 MI Champions program and continues its participation in 2020.
  • We are investigating with the Communication Department of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, how we can improve the promotion of Mission Innovation.

National plans and priorities for clean energy innovation

The Dutch energy innovation policy in the coming years will focus on the missions of the national Climate Agreement Through the Mission Oriented Knowledge and Innovation Agenda (IKIA). In doing so the innovation policy contributes to reducing national CO2-emissions by 49% by 2030. The sectoral priorities are listed below:

Also, The Netherlands has developed an innovation program on hydrogen (as a cross-cutting theme), in line with the developing government vision on hydrogen and the developing government vision on the organization of the energy market. This program focusses on the development, demonstration and (especially) scale-up of hydrogen applications in different sectors.

New Collaborations

IEA-PVPS Task 18 Microgrids & Edge of grid
Canada, Morocco, Netherlands, Germany, Australia, (Pacific Islands, North Sea Islands).
Task 18 will deal with off-grid electrical systems and edge-of-grid electrical systems which include photovoltaics. The task is led by Australia and Morocco and the task is still open for countries that can contribute cases and data. The short term deliverables this year 2020 are a comparison of levelized cost (LCOE) of Lithium battery storage in microgrids and an inventory plus evaluation of the existing tools for its design and economic feasibility.
Sectors: public-public
Type of collaboration: research, best practice, accelerate roll out of microgrids
Start date: 2019
End date: 2023
Contribution: Average 120,000 hours per year
Find out more

IEA-industry annex 19 – Electrification of industry
Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden

  • Enhance international collaboration in the field of industrial electrification, and to set up and sustain a platform within IEA for sharing experiences and findings in R&D projects in the long term.
  • Improve the awareness of the topic of industrial electrification in participating and other IETS countries in course of identifying partners in participating and other IETS countries.
  • Identify and clarify areas of joint interest for further cooperation, in order to focus the subtasks and contents of a subsequent Task 2 and help to define annex and task leadership within that Task 2.
  • Elaborate a basic overview on ongoing activities, roadmaps, and areas of common interest.

Sectors: public-public
Type of collaboration: research
Start date: 2019
End date: 2020
Contribution: participants finance their own activities
Find out more

CEM Hydrogen Initiative
Canada, EC, India, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, United States
The new Hydrogen Initiative will drive international collaboration on policies, programs and projects to accelerate the commercial deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies across all sectors of the economy.
It will aim to address barriers and identify opportunities for hydrogen in the global transformation to a clean, affordable and reliable energy sector looking at the global supply chains of this new energy vector.
The new Hydrogen Initiative will focus on how hydrogen can contribute to cleaner energy systems, while promoting sustainability, resiliency and energy security. Initial work carried out through the initiative will focus on three different areas:

  1. Helping to ensure successful deployment of hydrogen within current industrial applications.
  2. Enabling deployment of hydrogen technologies in transport (e.g. freight, mass transit, light-rail, marine).
  3. Exploring the role of hydrogen in meeting the energy needs of communities.

Sectors: public-public
Type of collaboration: research, development, demonstration and deployment
Start date: 2019
Contribution: NL has provided €100.000. Total budget not yet known.
Find out more

Enhanced collaboration between Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and TNO (applied research institutes)
Enhanced collaboration between Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and TNO on AI and Intelligent Energy Networks. Still work in progress, will possibly result in a separate MoU (The Netherlands and Germany signed an MoU in 2019).
Sectors: public-public
Type of collaboration: research
Start date: 2019
Contribution: participants finance their own activities

Electrochemical Conversion and Materials (ECCM)
An exploratory joint workshop will be held in the first half of 2020 with business, academia and government. The aim is to define joint calls or projects. This collaboration is linked to the trilateral collaboration between Flanders (in Belgium), Northrhine-Westfalia (in Germany) and the Netherlands.
Sectors: public-private
Type of collaboration: research
Start date: 2019
Contribution: participants finance their own activities