Heat in the neighbourhood
Being one of the first neighbourhoods in the Netherlands, the “Vruchtenbuurt” in The Hague already has fairly detailed plans to switch from fossil fuels to renewable heating. That is the result of having smart forward thinkers in the local energy cooperative. Together with Stedin and Dunea, they have been considering the construction of a feasible district heat network for some time. As an alternative to natural gas, there are opportunities to install such a heat network that is injected by heat from local sources such as the dune water pipeline. Consultancy company IF technology has been asked to calculate the feasibility of these opportunities. An interesting exercise with the conclusion that the heat network is feasible.
The business case in new light
But feasible for whom? The report indicates that the business case is assessed from the perspective of the heat suppliers. But the question is if the residents will agree on that. Is the combination of the calculated connection fee to the heat network & the retained heat price a good alternative for the residents? Or is it actually more beneficial to provide in your own fossil-free facility? And under which financial conditions are a sufficient amount of connections to be expected to make the heat network actually feasible?
A fertile basis
A collection of legitimate questions for which TheEarlybirds used the COLONY model. Different scenarios have been calculated with different connection fees, heat prices and insulation levels. This provided the “Duurzame Vruchtenbuurt” cooperative with new insights. Besides it offered new tools for working further towards a fossil-free neighborhood: preconditions for the heat network, an insight into alternatives and a new look at the degree of housing reformation. A fertile basis for the next concrete steps towards a fossil-free Vruchtenbuurt!