Municipalities strengthen their directing role with Comsof Heat

In brief

  • HVC specializes in sustainable energy and waste management in the Netherlands
  • The company helps the region of Drechtsteden to further expand its district heating network
  • HVC uses Comsof Heat for the roll-out preparation

The region of Drechtsteden is a compact urbanized area in the province of South-Holland. These seven municipalities have a large potential of sustainable energy sources, such as thermal heat.

“These seven municipalities have jointly developed their own heat vision in 2019. The report shows that a district heating network is the cheapest alternative to gas for about 35 percent of the existing buildings. We are talking about more than 100,000 homes”, says Eline van den Ende, advisor heat transition at HVC.

“The Comsof software offers HVC and its members a platform to explore”

HVC focusses on sustainable energy and waste management for its owning 44 municipalities and six water authorities. The core task of the heat division of HVC is to support its stockholders in their transition towards gas independency. In addition, HVC develops heating networks where it is feasible, affordable and desirable. Today the company already manages heating networks in Dordrecht, Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, Sliedrecht and Zwijndrecht.

5930 new connections

“A ruling by the Dutch government recently made it possible to connect 5930 additional homes to existing and new heating networks. We see this as the accelerator in the heat transition of the Drechtsteden region”, continues Ms. Van den Ende.

“The municipalities involved now need to figure out answers to questions such as: how do we accelerate? How do we shape our directing role? Which opportunities can we validate in the short term? How do we create a vision which is supported by all stakeholders? And which factors do we take into account for a structured and plannable development of the heating grid?”

“In order to find answers, the authorities want to get insights into the different choices and conditions at hand. To work in an inclusive environment, focused on the local needs. Comsof Heat helps in this exploratory phase.”

Comsof Heat facilitates exploration

“The Comsof software offers HVC and its members a platform to explore and concretize development chances of the heating network in the region”, explains Joey Reedijk, Program manager Energy transition at the municipality of Dordrecht. To him the added value of Comsof Heat is threefold.

“First of all it allows us to simplify discussions. We take a detailed look at the region’s heat maps. What are the heat sources, what is their output, what about the planning and routing of the basic network? We integrate these elements into an urban development context, which includes the input of all stakeholders.”

“As Comsof Heat calculates fast, choices in planning can quickly be translated into different scenarios”

“it is also easier to make decisions together. As Comsof Heat calculates fast, choices in planning, routing, scope etc. can quickly be translated into different scenarios. Which in turn empowers us to estimate the financial and urban impact. We realize that today a lot is still financially impossible, but in any case, Comsof Heat offers us the opportunity to discuss in full transparency what is, or could be, feasible.

“Lastly we can visualize plans and open them up for discussion. Comsof Heat allows us to turn scenario analyses in to maps and euros. We take these facts and figures to our stakeholders such as authorities and residents to offer and discuss different solution pathways.”

HVC will ramp up the use of Comsof Heat in the coming months to search for feasible and affordable district heating network plans. We will keep you updated on their progress.