AMS URSES: Smarter energy systems for Amsterdam

Testing fuel-cell cars for providing energy to residential neighbourhoods or improved systems for ground source heating and cooling. These are possible results from the URSES research programme. In this programme, NWO, Shell and AMS Institute are searching for answers to energy issues in the city. They are doing this with the goal of contributing to reliable and affordable energy for the residents of Amsterdam, both now and in the future.

‘The collaboration between NWO, Shell and AMS Institute is a fine example of bundling the strengths of new and established parties in the area of energy research, technology and its application in the urban environment,’ remarks Stephan van Dijk, Programme Manager Research & Valorisation at AMS Institute. ‘It offers the leading talents in the Netherlands the opportunity to contribute to improving the provision of energy in this metropolis, and it shows that AMS Institute can make all the difference. We are extremely proud of this reinforcement of our ecosystem and of our community of researchers and professionals from the field, who are working together to develop solutions that will benefit the residents of Amsterdam.’ 

The societal side is important
Renée van Kessel-Hagesteijn, Director of NWO-MaGW: ‘The collaboration with AMS Institute is an important step that will bring us closer to the implementation of new solutions. Collaboration between the various research disciplines and with companies – in other words, transdisciplinary research – will ultimately lead to the actual application of the research results. It is important to look beyond technical innovation. The transition to smart and renewable energy systems requires us to investigate the societal side of the transition to such energy systems as well. For example, NWO is financing research on the role of residents who have organised themselves into energy cooperatives and how the government can respond to this form of decentralised generation of energy.’ 

Reliable and affordable energy
‘The world needs more and cleaner energy, which is also available and affordable,’ notes Yuri Sebregts, Chief Technology Officer of Shell.
‘Achieving this will require us to approach the development of new innovations across industry boundaries. We are therefore increasingly investing in collaboration with other parties: universities, knowledge institutions, government bodies and companies, both within and outside of our industry. In this case, AMS Institute, with the City of Amsterdam as a “living lab”.’ 

The URSES programme might soon be experimenting with fuel-cell cars for providing energy to residential neighbourhoods or with improved systems for the storage of heat and cooling in the ground. In this way, URSES is contributing to increasing sustainability in the provision of energy (heat and electricity), in addition to enhancing the affordability and reliability of these systems for the residents of Amsterdam.

Memorandum of Understanding signed
On Thursday, 19 February, NWO, Shell and AMS Institute signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the collaboration within URSES. This research programme, Uncertainty Reduction in Smart Energy Systems (URSES), was launched in 2013, in the area of smart energy systems. The eleven funded research projects within this programme started in 2014.

The knowledge that is being made available is relevant to Amsterdam, as well as to all cities and metropolitan areas within and outside the Netherlands. 

The URSES programme is a part of the NWO contribution to the Energy top sector, and it falls under the NWO theme of Renewable Energy. The programme is fully compatible and coordinated with the ‘Switch2SmartGrids’ Top Consortium for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI), which is part of the Energy top sector.

More information: Website URSES, News item NWO and Press release Shell (in Dutch)