Integrating local and regional energy systems for enhancing sustainability

How to contribute to the development of an efficient and effective low-carbon energy system in the Netherlands by a further integration of the energy infrastructure (electricity, gas and heat) at the local and regional level, both from a technical and socio-economic perspective?

Rolf Künneke (Photo: EDGaR/Jan Buwalda)


This project analyses how the sustainability of the energy sector can be increased by stronger integrating electricity, gas and possibly heat systems at a local and regional level. Hence, the focus is on the integration of energy systems close to the end user. Against the background of the EDGaR research program, especially the role of gas is of interest in different scenarios of the development of the energy sector. In some regions the need to adjust energy systems at the local level appears to be much more urgent than on the national or international level. Traditionally electricity, gas and heat are treated as distinct sectors with their own technical, economic and regulatory specificities. However, since the past decades these energy sectors slowly converge, technically as well as institutionally. A further technical integration of the energy sectors requires accordingly institutional changes. In this project, the focus will be specifically oriented towards the energy distribution companies, their roles and responsibilities under different technical conditions of systems integration. The research approach includes scenario analyses, institutional design, technical assessments and agent based modeling.

Theme: Future energy systems 
Leader: Rolf Künneke (Delft University of Technology)
Partners: Kiwa, Enexis, Liander, Stedin, Delft University of Technology, ECN, TNO
Budget: 1.2 million euro
Duration: September 2012 / December 2014


Christian Bos (TNO)
Wim Bouwman (Kiwa)
Alin Chiţu (TNO)
Edmund Fennema (Kiwa)
Lilya Ghazaryan (TNO)
Jeroen de Joode (ECN)
Rolf Künneke (Delft University of Technology)
Hans de Laat (Kiwa)
Kees Pulles (Kiwa)
Daniel Scholten (Delft University of Technology)
Frank Wilschut (TNO)

Book chapter

Correljé, Aad, John Groenewegen, Rolf Künneke, Daniel Scholten. “Design values in economics.” In Handbook of Ethics, Values and Technological Design, edited by J. van den Hoven, I. van de Poel, P. Vermaas, pp. 1–23. Dordrecht: Springer, 2015.

Journal article

Scholten, D.J. “The reliability of energy infrastructures: the organizational requirements of technical operations.” Competition and Regulation in Network Industries 14, 2 (2013): 173–205. 

Working paper

Avelino, F., R. Bosman, N. Frantzeskaki, S. Akerboom, P. Boontje, J. Hoffman, G. Paradies, B. Pel, D. Scholten, J. Wittmayer. “The (self-)governance of community energy: challenges and prospects.” Rotterdam: DRIFT (PB 2014.01), 2014.

Bos, Christian. Groote Schaarsberg, Mirjam. ''Assessing the effects of policy measures in liberalized energy markets in transition.''. Paper, 2015.

Cayford, Timothy, Daniel Scholten. “Self-governance in community energy systems: an approach to assess the viability.” Working Papers of the Energy Delta Gas Research 5 (2014): 1–30.



Akerboom, S., D.J. Scholten “Legal restrictions and solutions for local solar PV markets in the Netherlands.” 7th Competition and Regulation in Network Industries Conference, Brussels, November 2014.

Cayford, T.J., D.J. Scholten. “The viability of self-governance arrangements in community energy systems.” 5th Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop, Bloomington, June 2014.

Künneke, Rolf. “System integration: societal and technical challenges of future energy systems” Gas Fuels Europe: Second EDGaR-DVGW Joint Conference, Brussels, November 2013. 

Künneke, Rolf. “The future of gas in integrated energy systems.” Enabling Sustainability with Gas: Closing Conference of the Energy Delta Gas Research, Amsterdam, March 2015.


De Joode, Jeroen, Francesco Dalla Longa, Bert Daniëls. “Modelling future regional energy systems: lessons learnt and future opportunities.”  Enabling Sustainability with Gas: Closing Conference of the Energy Delta Gas Research, Amsterdam, March 2015.

Bos, Christian. “Integrating local and regional energy systems for enhancing sustainability.” Fifth Research Day of the Energy Delta Gas Research, Nunspeet, April 2013.

Kippers, Mathijs, Hans de Laat, Edmund Fennema. “Integrating local and regional energy systems.” Enabling Sustainability with Gas: Closing Conference of the Energy Delta Gas Research, Amsterdam, March 2015.


Bos, C.F.M., A.G. Chitu, F. Wilschut, L. Ghazaryan. “Software design specification for an agent-based model of regional, coupled gas-electricity-heat energy systems.” Utrecth: TNO (2013 R11873), 2013. 

Scholten, D. “Towards the comprehensive institutional design of energy infrastructures.” Delft: Delft University of Technology, forthcoming. 

De Joode, J., F. Dalla Longa, B. Daniels. “Integrating energy systems at the regional level: a model based assessment of the 2050 Dutch energy system.” Petten:  ECN, forthcoming. 

In the news

"A new associate partner." Energy Delta Gas Research, 15 October 2013.