Smart Energy Arnhem
Arnhem can look back on a rich history when it comes to the public supply of electricity, with safety, reliability and affordability being key objectives. Today, supplying renewable energy has become a hot topic in the Netherlands' 'electricity capital'.
Energy systems need to be able to respond intelligently to fluctuations in the availability of energy from renewable sources, such as the sun, wind and water. Everything revolves around 'smart energy'. Multinationals like energy experts DEKRA and DNV GL, grid operators TenneT (Dutch and German high-voltage grids) and Alliander work together on a daily basis with young professionals and start-ups on the development of intelligent energy systems, so-called smart grids. They have chosen Arnhem as a base for their activities, due to the knowledge, expertise and facilities the city has to offer. KEMA The name KEMA is inextricably linked with Arnhem.
KEMA was founded in 1927 under the name NV tot Keuring van Elektrotechnische Materialen Arnhem. The company grew to become a globally active testing and consultancy firm working in the areas of energy generation, transport and end use in relation to electricity, natural gas and renewable energy. In 2011 KEMA was taken over by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and subsequently merged with Germanischer Lloyd to become DNV GL. In 2015, when relocating its office, the company decided to remain in Arnhem, moving into premises on the Arnhems Buiten Energy Business Park.
Unique testing facilities
DNV GL has ultramodern high-voltage testing laboratories at its disposal. In recent years it has also invested 70 million euros in the expansion of its short circuit laboratory. From 2016, DNV GL will therefore be the only testing and consultancy firm in the world capable of testing voltages of 800,000 volts and above. WATT CONNECTS Arnhem encourages cooperation between businesses and knowledge institutions. DNV GL, TenneT, Liander and HAN University of Applied Sciences (HAN), for example, are working together within Watt Connects, an expertise platform for energy sector professionals. Watt Connects has access to a unique smart grid demonstration table that simulates practical situations in residential districts. By activating and deactivating energy flows, it is possible to make fluctuations in the energy flows between households and the central grid visible.
Start-ups and innovation
Various Arnhem-based start-ups are researching and developing new ways to generate and store electrical energy. These include Elestor (hydrogen-bromine flow battery) and S4 Energy (storage of renewable energy as kinetic energy). Mpare (a platform that offers an insight into the energy consumption of buildings), in partnership with Watch-E, offers housing associations user-friendly equipment that can help tenants to reduce their energy costs. In 2015 Arnhem-based IF Technology – the leading Dutch specialist in geothermal energy – also developed the award-winning ‘smart polder’ concept. This is a system that allows a pumping station used to manage water levels to acquire an additional function: it can also be used to store electricity and to generate renewable energy in the form of cooling or heating.