In the early 1990s the city of Amsterdam set out on their decarbonising heat journey in a joint venture partnership with Vattenfall (Nuon). The local municipal government and Vattenfall had to work hard to convince developers, property owners and the general public of the benefits of a heat network. Nearly 25 years later the benefits speak for themselves and we are continuing to expand our network with 5000 new connections every year in the fastest growing Heat network in Europe and a real case study on partnership.
In the early 90s, Amsterdam residents had their own boilers, there was no centralised heat network, and carbon emissions in the city were rising. The Municipal Authority selected Vattenfall (Nuon) as their partner for the long term, recognising the cultural challenge of changing habits, behaviours and accepted norms did not align with delivering a smart, future proofed and decarbonised energy system.
Looking back 24 years later, this partnership has overcome the obstacles and challenges and 177,000 customers are connected - with more added each week. This has resulted in a reduction in carbon emissions of 75% and has been accepted across the city with new developers and residents as part of the landscape and a new-norm.
Looking forward we are working in partnership with the city to introduce new low-carbon technologies on the site, and deliver network extensions which provide simple, efficient and reliable connections for new developments in a rapidly growing modern city.
The growth of the heat network in Amsterdam can be attributed to a number of key points.
The Amsterdam city network has grown from zero customers in 1994 to 177,000 customers today. It has allowed the integration of smaller networks as they could join the larger network, they could then be optimised. The city of Almere was connected by a 12km sub-sea transmission pipe, and this negated the need to reinvest in another CHP plant. The ambition is to connect 50% of the city by 2040 and drive down the CO2 emissions of the city of Amsterdam.