Written by our consultants Valerie, Arthur, Wim, Toon, Maarten and Niel

The yearly Smart Energy Academy organized by Flux 50 is the ideal opportunity to bring our new colleagues up to energy cruising speed. In this multiday crash course experts from leading Flemish energy companies share their insights into the challenges of the energy transition and into the latest innovations.

DAY 1

The first day of the Flux50 Smart Energy Academy was centred around the energy transition and more specifically electrification. We had the opportunity to hear how several parties in the energy supply chain are looking to the future. An interesting quote that captures the full day is the following: “The energy transition is moving too fast for many people, but on the other hand, it is not moving fast enough.”

 The key takeaways

“Focus on building transformation instead of building innovation”  (Gerrit Jan Schaeffer – Energyville)

By 2050, the Flemish government wants all buildings and houses in Flanders to achieve energy label A or A+. The vast majority of buildings that will be occupied in 2050 have already been built now. Therefore, it is important to focus on deep renovation of existing buildings rather than innovations in the construction sector.

Vehicle-to-home: powering your house with an electric vehicle  

An EV should be seen as a battery that can drive instead of something that can drive with a battery. Using the EV’s battery as an extra energy source or storage unit in your home, will help to become more self-sufficient.

How companies can valorize their flexibility

Companies can add a new revenue model to their business by participating into the Capacity Remuneration Mechanisms (CRM), an initiative supported by Elia. Compensation will be given to those companies which offer electric capacity to Elia for maintaining the balance.

In the upcoming years, there will be an unprecedented shift in the type of energy source we employ. Due to the electrification of land transport, heating, cooling and industrial processes the demand will move away from fossil fuels such as gas and coal toward more electricity. As a consequence, electricity demand will triple, from 20%  today to as much as 60% of the total energy demand in 2030. Quite a challenge for a sector that has not seen much growth in recent times.

DAY 2

The second day of the Flux50 Academy focused on heat. The more known examples such as heat pumps were discussed but also innovative ideas such as heat grids, geothermal, sustainable heat and riothermal. In Flanders we are on the road to utilizing these opportunities, but in order to optimize these alternatives we need to shift up a gear.

The key takeaways

Heat pump is THE energy source of the future

By using 1kW of electricity, the heat pump generates 4 kW of heat. A well-insulated house is the minimum requirement to be heat pump ready. Moreover, the heat pump can be combined with solar panels/collectors & batteries. This creates a constant temperature all year round. If one decides to make the transition, the replacement of electric and gas or fuel oil heating isn’t the same. Electric heating will be replaced by an air-to-air heat pump. Gas or fuel oil heating will be replaced by an air-to-water heat pump.

“Currently only 8% of the potential of heat grids is being utilized in Flanders.”

The re-imagining of domestic and professional heat supply is an area that needs more attention. Residual heat from factories and/or data centers can be used to heat up to 50% of the Flemish populations homes, from which only 4% is utilised to date. Geothermal, where warmth and cooling are retracted from the soil according to the seasonal needs, is also a viable option in the geographically favourable areas. These “new” ways of using heat and cooling could not only lower our energy costs, but also assist in the energy transition and make us less dependable on other energy sources.

Savings and sustainability of buildings thanks to smart control

Energy consumption and energy costs are higher than ever and will only become more important in today’s buildings in the future. This makes it interesting to be able to control our energy consumption for heat, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling (HVAC) with MPC (model predictive controlling) in order to save up to 35% on energy costs. Using a digital twin and existing sensors and actuators, MPC will optimize, predict and benchmark the energy consumption of a building to obtain better performance.

 

Contact Frank Sels our Account Manager Utilities

Contact Frank

“There Are A Thousand Things That Can Happen When You Go To Launch A Rocket, And Only One Of Them Is Good.”
Tom Mueller SpaceX propulsion chief

Tags:

Related content

European Clean Energy Pack

Read more

A hydrogen fueled future

Read more