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The independently operating consultancy firm Ecofys, of which Eneco is 100% shareholder, possesses in-depth knowledge across the entire spectrum of sustainable energy, energy and CO2 efficiency, energy systems and markets and energy & climate policies.

Energy and CO2 efficiency

Ecofys has a good and all-round reputation in the area of energy efficiency. In 2013, Ecofys calculated the CO2 footprint of broadcasting association VARA for the sustainability and environment-related television programme KASSA Groen.

In an article, written for Friends of the Earth Europe and Climate Action Network Europe, Ecofys demonstrates that energy efficiency not only results in direct cost reduction, but also lowers indirect cost due to the fact that energy prices will drop. Consequently, the efficient use of energy could add up to total net savings of €250 billion per year for consumers.

In a study for the European Committee, Ecofys and its project partners have taken a first step towards the creation of a common standard for nearly zero-energy buildings. By 2021, every new building in Europe will have to meet this standard.

Ecofys assisted the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) in the development of its Energy and Low Carbon Roadmap 2050. This Roadmap explores the long-term role of the chemical industry as Europe progresses to an energy efficient and low greenhouse gas emission future.

Following its Wedging the Gap initiative, Ecofys launched a new initiative in 2013: CO2ntdown. On the basis of 10 concrete goals, Co2ntdown aims to reach an extra 10% emissions reduction in the Netherlands. Eneco supported the start of this initiative as it is fully in line with its own objectives

Sustainable energy

The European Union was the first region to introduce binding sustainability criteria for biofuels. Ecofys has written a report for the Dutch Government in which it describes and assesses the proposed measures and their consequences for the Dutch and European biofuel sector. In another project, Ecofys advises the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment on the stimulation of biokerosene in the Netherlands.  In close consultation with the main stakeholders, the opportunities and obstacles relating to the use and production of biokerosene are being investigated.

Ecofys has further expanded its services for clients with operations in the wind energy sector.  Ecofys Wind Turbine Testing Services (WTTS) successfully completed the construction of a 120 metre high wind measurement mast on Test Site Lelystad. The mast is the tallest in its kind in Northwest Europe and will deliver meteorological data for testing wind turbine prototypes. The new met mast offers verification testing services for high-end technological wind measurement instruments.

Energy systems and markets

Ecofys provides services to several parties in the area of energy systems. Activities during the past year included providing support for a project of the Bonneville Power Administration in the United States to identify new, cost effective, low carbon resources to integrate wind energy and other forms of renewable generation into the grid. In a study for the European Copper Institute, Ecofys investigated the energy efficiency aspects in electricity network design and operation. The study showed that financial incentives play an important role in this respect.

Ecofys is partner in the project ‘Smart Grid: rendement voor iedereen!’ (Smart Grid: everyone benefits!) for which it develops and tests services relating to Smart Grids at two pilot sites in the municipalities of Utrecht and Amersfoort. Services that are being tested include advice about energy consumption, incentives to shift energy consumption in time, remote demand control and smart charging of an electric car that is shared by multiple users. This is the first smart grid pilot project carried out by the Province of Utrecht.

Energy and climate policy

For the European Union to achieve its 2013 targets, it needs to eliminate the substantial surplus of emission rights in the EU’s emissions trading system ETS. This is necessary to keep the European Union’s goal to limit global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius (2°C) within reach and to restore the effectiveness of the ETS. For Greenpeace, Ecofys has drawn up recommendations to this effect.

Another Ecofys policy study shows that implementation of the European Union’s energy efficiency targets requires more effort from the member states. As part of the EU project 'Energy-Efficiency-Watch 2', Ecofys and its partners screened all 27 National Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEAP).

2013 was the third year in a row that Ecofys contributed to the UNEP Gap report. This study investigates, on a yearly basis, what the gap would be in 2020 between the emissions levels required to achieve the 2° C climate objective and the emissions levels projected if country reduction pledges are fulfilled.

Manon Janssen, figurehead top sector Energy

In October 2013, Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs appointed Manon Janssen, Managing Director of Ecofys, as the figurehead of the top sector Energy. Manon Janssen succeeds Michiel Boersma who stepped down from this position at the end of September.