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Sustainability Blog

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The island of Texel towards a sustainable energy future

Category : General
It started with a vision: the island of Texel wants to be an energy neutral community in 2020. This island, with a community of 14.000 people in the north of The Netherlands, has a courageous and ambitious sustainable energy vision. And Capgemini helps Texel in realizing this. This blog explains Texel’s energy goals and the approach to reach them.
Texel has set itself the following four energy goals:
  1. Reduce energy consumption
  2. Generate more renewable energy on Texel to supply the energy demand, together as a community
  3. Use this renewable and locally generated energy on moments that it is available, whilst maintaining a level of comfort.
  4. Smarter use of the existing energy infrastructure
What do these goals mean?
  1. Reduce energy consumption.
When enabling a self-sufficient energy community, one of the first critical success factors is to create energy awareness, as awareness leads to reduced energy consumption. This is our goal, as you don’t need to generate energy you don’t use. One way to achieve reduced energy consumption is to measure the energy consumption. For this reason, each premise in the community on Texel is assisted by a device which provides them with feedback on their energy consumption and their own production. 
  1. Generate more renewable energy on Texel to supply the energy demand, together as a community.
You should view TexelEnergie as a community, in which the participants (participation is on a voluntarily basis) invest in more presence of renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, solar panels and a biogas generator. These are the three energy ingredients: wind, sun and biodegradable waste. Biogas is used when wind or sun are not sufficient and as a base load. Each source has its own advantages and disadvantages and this mix makes that most of the energy demand can be arranged locally. Technological developments could also lead to potential geothermic and tidal energy sourcing in the future. Of course it can happen that the community’s energy production is too low to fulfill the energy needs at a given moment, in this scenario energy can be bought on the mainland, as the island is still connected to the national grid.
  1. Use this renewable and locally generated energy on moments that it is available, whilst maintaining a level of comfort.
Next to reduction of energy consumption through feedback on energy use and generating more renewable energy, the next step is using this renewable energy at the moment when energy is available and decrease energy use when energy is not sufficiently available. This entails that the community will be informed on the availability of produced energy of the whole community and can actively plan when to use energy. The availability of the energy will be expressed in a price for each hour, and the device in each premise will provide the energy prices for the next 24 hours. This leads to different energy decisions, for example to choose if you would like your dishwasher to run now, no matter what the price is, or if you would like it to be ready within 12 hours. In the latter case, the device will run during the cheapest time within that given timeframe.  And as more devices in the homes will become smart this Home Energy Management (HEMS) device can do even more, thus HEMS truly brings energy intelligence into the house.
  1. Smarter use of the existing energy infrastructure.
When the intelligence has been brought into the house, it is time to look at the next step. Imagine the Smart Grid automatically knows when to use which energy source according to the weather conditions and demand forecast and history, while using the most efficient mix. This is happening. A Community  Energy Management System (CEMS) adds intelligence to the Grid. Now it knows which energy source (i.e. sun, wind, biogas) is most efficient to use at what moment in time, with respect to the forecasted demand. In this way, the renewable energy sources are used in its most efficient manner.  The CEMS even influences the load of the participants by encouraging the shifting of the energy consumption over the day from hours where the community has shortage to hours where the community has a surplus of energy. All of this is accomplished with using the existing infrastructure.  You can compare this to a telephone. Once a simple device to make phone calls, nowadays the smart phone has far more intelligence than just making a phone call. This virtual smart grid is the newest smartphone of the grids.

What is the approach to reaching these goals?

Currently we are in the process of reaching the above mentioned goals. At this moment we are in the middle of the pilot phase of the HEMS deployment, we are installing the smart devices to 300  premises in the community to enable reduction of energy use by energy awareness and insight. The following phases after this pilot are:
  1. Rollout of HEMS, in which the whole community will get HEMS and is connected.
  2. Involve the community by providing feedback based on data from the HEMS, in order to use less energy by balancing energy use according to availability, whilst maintaining a level of comfort.
  3. Rollout CEMS to make the Grid intelligent and to enable the community to an optimal use of the energy they produced themselves
These phases will take place in the course of next year. In this blog I will keep you updated on each of these phases on how Texel is reaching its goals.

For a video presentation of this project and approach, follow this link:
If you have any questions or would like to know more about this project, please do not hesitate to contact me, Annemiek Lauwerijssen  ( or the project manager, Arie Hobbel ( 

For this project multiple parties are involved. Capgemini owns the Cloud Power concept and manages the delivery of the business processes and systems in the project. We execute it together with the following partners: Texel municipality, TexelEnergie (the energy community), Province Noord-Holland, Agentschap NL, Distribution System Operator (DSO): Liander, Technology enablers: Capgemini, Siemens, Quby. 

About the author

Annemiek Lauwerijssen
Annemiek Lauwerijssen

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