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Heating the Netherlands: the future’s all-electric. Or is it? Delta-EE’s top 10 facts to demystify the Dutch heating market

The Netherlands has set some of the most ambitious targets in Europe to phase out natural gas in heating (and elsewhere), aiming to be “natural gas free” by 2050. This is no small ask in a country where, today, almost 90% of the >7million homes use natural gas - usually via an individual boiler (or “CV-ketel”) as their main source of heating and hot water.

Since the gas free target was set, heat pump sales have grown rapidly, increasing numbers of new homes are being built without a gas connection, and the government subsidy supporting renewable heating installations – the ISDE – proved so popular, it had to be closed to new applications part-way through 2019[1].

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The electrification of heat in The Netherlands: new build vs retrofit

The Netherlands is at the forefront of the move to decarbonise the European heating sector through electrification of heat, driven by a policy goal to phase out natural gas. In the Netherlands, this drive has been strengthened by a series of earthquakes in the north of the country that have been caused by natural gas extraction. This is quite a shift as, similarly to the UK, the Netherlands has previously been a country dominated by gas heating. 85-90% of homes currently use natural gas as their main heat source.  

Cate Lyon, manager of Delta-EE's Electrification of Heat research, says that building regulations have been the key to kick-starting the electrification of heat in new build housing.

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Rebutting some of the myths and challenges about air/air heat pumps in the heating market

In my last blog, I explained why I think now is the time for air/air heat pumps (A/A HP).  There are strong opportunities in the residential heating market in Europe. But in our conversations across the heating and energy industry, we still meet challenges from those not yet engaged in A/A HPs. Here are some of the major myths and challenges we hear - and why we still think A/A HPs should not be ignored.

Challenge #1: “A/AHPs are good for cooling but suboptimal as a primary heating solution”.

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The proposition is heating up: the heat market’s transition

The transition from ‘old’ to ‘new’ heat is disrupting the market in several ways, creating new business models, customer propositions and new technology ecosystems, as well as opening up opportunities for new market players and sales channels. In part one of this two-part blog series, we discussed  how new technology ecosystems and connectivity are shaping the market. 

For this second and final part of the heat blog series we consider customer propositions and new market entrants and how they will impact the heating market. 

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The proposition is heating up: How Europe’s heat market could change

The transition from ‘old’ to ‘new’ heat is disrupting the market in several ways, creating new business models, customer propositions and technology ecosystems, as well as opening up opportunities for new market players and sales channels. This two-part blog series will consider how the heat market could evolve and what could be seen in the next few years.

This first part considers heating system functionality and connectivity, value stream diversification and hydrogen for heat. The second will look at customer propositions.

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How Brussels is pointing the direction for the European energy transition

All personal opinions regarding Brexit aside, there’s no denying that the European Commission and European Union has a huge influence over the energy sector. Recent episode of Talking New Energy, the Delta-EE podcast, focuses on what the latest policy coming out of the EU means for the energy transition. 

As Frauke Thies, Executive Director at SmartEn, explains, organisations such as SmartEn help their members understand the legislation coming out of the European Union and how it affects them. It is not always easy to help countries understand the influence of the EU, but its influence is paramount. Take the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, for example, which has set the target for member states to achieve nearly zero energy buildings in new builds. In the future this will push towards achieving a renovation of building stock as well. 

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