2012 - PhD Summer School on Energy Transition & World Society, Groningen

From 9-20 July 2012 Energy Delta Institute and the University of Groningen organized the 2012 PhD Summer School on Energy Transition & World Society. EDI co-organized two out of 10 days.

On Wednesday July 11th in the afternoon an excursion to the RWE/Essent coal-fired power plant in the Eemshaven area, in the most northern part of the Netherlands, took place. On this day with typical Dutch weather (wet and inconsistent) the group of PhD’s of various fields of studies was brought to the location with the players bus of the Gasterra Flames, the Dutch basketball team from Groningen. After a general presentation about the construction of the power plant, it was time to step outside. Luckily, it got dry so it was time to put on our boots, helmet and safety jacket, and visit the building site.

Upon return, when it was raining again, Roland Ferwerda (Director Risk Management at Essent) enlightened us with a more in-depth presentation providing some insight in the risk calculation processes at Essent which always accompanies the decision process before such large industrial investments. The PhD’s, who had very differing backgrounds, were critical and asked very varying questions.

Closing the session at Essent/RWE we were picked up by a representative of Groningen Seaports who delighted the group with a guided bus tour over the whole Eemshaven area (also called Energypark) and afterwards showed us a virtual 3D presentation further explaining some of the sites in the area. With what was described as ‘Dutch sushi’ (being haring) and ‘Corenwijn’, the day was closed traditionally.

The second day was Monday July 16th, which consisted of two parts: speakers in the morning and a simulation game in the afternoon.

Speakers during the morning session were coming from three different disciplines. Gert-Jan Lankhorst, CEO of Gasterra, gave his view on ‘the energy transition’ in which, according to him, gas plays a crucial role. Nonetheless, he stated to “start looking up, and stop looking down for energy”, implying the growing important of renewable energy. Second speaker was Harro Meijer, of the department of Natural Sciences of the University of Groningen. As he was able to explain rather complex, technical matter of climate change in quite laymen terms, his presentation was well received. The third perspective was an economic one and was delivered by Catrinus Jepma, Scientific Director at Energy Delta Institute. He explained the demand for renewable energy and the demand for gas as a tango, constantly moving in parallel with each other (more gas when renewable energy is low and vice versa).

In the afternoon, a simulation game was played using the Energy Transition Model developed by Quintel. A framework was built around the model by EDI (within the EDIAAL programme*), in which participants had to reach certain energy goals while adhering to a fictional political party program. Fun was combined with a serious model, which proved to be interactive and very successful!

*EDIAAL is an Energy Delta Institute programme that aims to gather, edit and make available independent knowledge on the role of gas in the transition to a low carbon economy. The EDIaal project is partly made possible by a subsidy granted by The Northern Netherlands Provinces (SNN). EDIaal is co-financed by the European Union, European Fund for Regional Development, The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and Peaks in the Delta.


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