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Energy Research Centre Niedersachsen (EFZN), Energy Valley Groningen and Energy Academy Europe have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The purpose of this MoU is to further deepen the cooperation around energy and renewable energy systems.

‘This paper is an expression of the already great understanding between the Netherlands and our institute’, Professor Hans-Peter Beck of EFZN states. ‘Their competences are complementary to ours. Where the Dutch are specialized in the field of gas from their background, Germany (and specially Niedersachsen) is leading in the field of renewable energy.’

The roles of the partners will be clearly defined: The knowhow of the researchers from Goslar will be used for the development and testing of small scale storage plants for renewable energy. At the energy campus in Goslar a battery and sensor testing center is currently being built. This will be extended so the miniature systems can be used for real-time simulation testing.

The Dutch partners will address the Power to Gas Research (conversion of electrical energy into useful gases by electrolysis) and small-scale energy storage.

The results of the collaboration will serve as the basis for the future development of a ‘North Sea Power Ring’ (linking the electricity networks of the North Sea countries). The MoU is the result of already warm ties between EFZN and Energy Valley in the European cooperation ENSEA (European North Sea Energy Alliance).


EFZN Chairman Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Beck (left) and Gerrit van Werven, director of the Energy Valley Foundation, look forward to further joint cooperation. Minister Sigmar Gabriel (rear left) and his Dutch colleague Henk Kamp were the first people to congratulate on the cooperation.



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The annual EU Sustainable Energy Week (23rd – 27th June, Brussels) is the place to be for all those involved in the renewable energy sector.

During the ENSEA event, on 24th June, representatives from across the energy sector were provided with an update on the progress and achievements of the ENSEA initiative. Representatives from the ENSEA regional engaged attendees in discussion and debate on the range of key areas which are crucial to supporting the transition towards a more integrated and holistic approach to developing the energy system, in order to increase the proportion of renewable and low carbon energy sources.



Nicole Versijp, DG Energy, elaborated on the North Sea Grid Strategy. After a short break the knowledge institutes shared their views on cooperation within ENSEA and the opportunities this cooperation brings. DG Research & Innovation, Colombe Warin, commented on progress to date and her hopes for the ENSEA initiative. As the ENSEA project officer for the EC, Colombe was presented with a copy of the new ENSEA brochure.


Expression of Interest

The EU Sustainable Energy Week ENSEA event was brought to a close with the signing of an Expression of Interest, by key knowledge institutes in the ENSEA partner regions, as the official kick off for the ENSEA research network. Together, the partners are keen to strengthen inter-institutional collaborative activities, as well as deepen connections with industry, government and other knowledge institutes. The partnership aims to establish a more coordinated approach to addressing the energy transition through increased cross-border cooperation; with value the effort, knowledge-sharing, and willingness to work together on such a broad aspect within the North Sea Region.




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The Netherlands Wind Energy Association is organizing, on Saturday and Sunday 14-15 June 2014, the Open Wind Day Event where one can visit different wind turbines projects.

For the locations and registration see http://www.nwea.nl


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02 06 2014

Wind Day Event, 13th June 2014

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The Dutch Wind Energy Association in colaboration with ENERCON is  organizing  also this year the Wind Day Event. It is an event organzied within the framework of Global Wind Day, which is coordinated by EWEA and GWEC.

During the program there is special attention paid to the reliability of wind energy through good and systematic maintenance and how can one measure the satisfaction of operators on the maintenance and availability of windturbines.
Furthermore, there are lectures and workshops on financing of wind projects and financial participation of the offshore grid, the changes within the SDE + and wind energy and employment.
You can also take an organized visit to the wind farm under construction in the Northeast.

The Dutch Wind Day event takes place on Friday,  13th of June 2014 at Enercon in the Northeast, Franc 17, 8305 BS, Emmeloord.

The day begins at 9:30 and will end with a networking reception that starts at 16:30.

For more information and registration see www.nwea.nl


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23 04 2014

Building the Joint Energy System

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Robbin van der Linde: “We want to support entrepreneurs in seeing the links in how to get from a business opportunity to generating actual business…”

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to face the fact: Europe desperately needs to build a secure, clean and integrated energy system. Of course, this won’t happen overnight but slowly and surely we can look at this development among regions-the North Sea, for instance. The European North Sea Energy Alliance (ENSEA), through Energy Valley, has been working on a project which has been evaluating the potential for small to medium enterprises (SME)’s across varying regions of the North Sea, to add to these developments.

ENSEA is currently preparing a Joint Action Plan to determine how different regions can make use of each other’s talented SME’s. Initial results of these efforts will be presented at the ENSEA Midterm Conference which will take place on the 15th of May 2014 in  Stavanger, Norway.

You can read the full article in the  NRG Magazine.

Printable versionNRG Magazine – Article ENSEA

Source: NRG Magazine.

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Energy Professor Jepma: “Use old fossil infrastructure for the new sustainable projects.”                  

Catrinus Jepma argues in his column “Use the North Sea as energy hotspot” in Energiepodium.nl that billions can be saved if only a part of the old gas and oil platforms would be re-used. The largest regional energy investment in Europe is  in the Energy Valley region. The investment is about 27 billion euros for the period 2010-2020 of which 45 % is  in renewable energy. He stresses that the  North Sea  is not only important for the offshore wind farms but also for the offshore power cables, storage of wind power and storage of CO2.

Furthermore, he observes that the production of oil and gas at sea is reduced. As a result,  more than 600 oil and gas platforms and 10,000 miles of pipelines in the North Sea will be dismantled. Thus, the professor wonders whether the building of sustainable capacity and the reduction of fossil capacity cannot be done “smarter”. He advocates for a joint alignment between the North Sea countries, such as  the North Seas Countries’ Offshore Grid Initiative and the European North Sea Energy Alliance (ENSEA). However, he acknowledges that this requires a lot of political attention.

The article is in Dutch and it can be found at Energiepodium.nl.

About Catrinus Jepma
Catrinus Jepma is Professor of Energy and Sustainability at the University of Groningen and scientific director of the Energy Delta Gas Research Programme ( EDGaR ​​) and the EDIaal program of the Energy Delta Institute. In his column he writes about the energy market.


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On the 27th and the 28th of March the partners of European North Sea Energy Alliance gathered at the Grenzeloos 2014 event.

Organized by Samenwerkingsverband Noord-Nederland (SNN), an alliance of the provinces of Northern Netherlands, the event focussed on facilitating collaboration between innovative SMEs from the Northern Netherlands and the North-Western part of Germany. Strengthening the ties between knowledge institutions and businesses in these regions is an important focus on both sides of the border. The further development of innovation and sustainable economic growth were central themes of the event.

During the afternoon, pitches were given by prominent guests and information was provided to over 250 innovative SME’s through several workshops. In the context of ENSEA, the Energy Valley Foundation facilitated two workshops. The first of these focused on gas in transition and the opportunity they present for entrepreneurs (topics discussed related to (Bio)LNG, Biogas, green gas and hydrogen) while the second session looked at European funding and financing opportunities for innovative SME’s. In the context of our European energy transition, both topics provide big opportunities for alignment and effective collaboration between regions around the North Sea. Both “gas in transition” and “SME valorisation” are considered to be priority themes within the ENSEA consortium and efforts will be undertaken within the ENSEA project to further define where and how regions can contribute to these joint North Sea challenges.

The event concluded with a concert by the Prins Claus Conservatory; an event hosted by the Hanze University of Applied sciences which takes place every four years. In the presence of Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands, the full Oosterpoort venue enjoyed the classical works of Tchaikovsky, Johan Wagenaar and Klaas de Vries. The concert was followed by drinks for all attendants.

The following day the ENSEA partners had a productive session in which progress, processes and further development of a Joint Action Plan for interregional cooperation were discussed. During the session the ENSEA partners were joined by Ms. Nicole Versijp of the European Commission’s DG Energy, PhD student Hannah Muller from the Groningen Centre of Energy Law, and Fred Blommestein from the University of Groningen. Respectively, they presented on the following topics; Europe’s North Sea offshore grid strategy; regulatory constraints and possible solutions for interconnectors and the European Supergrid; and modelling options for effective energy system development and decision making. The presentations gave rise to some very interesting discussions regarding the development of common strategies in and around the North Sea and underlined the urgency of more effective collaboration around the North Sea on the topic of energy system integration.

Further discussions on these and other topics will continue during the ENSEA midterm conference; taking place in Stavanger Norway on 15 and 16 May 2014. Save the date!

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10 04 2014

ENSEA article

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One of the pitch events at the Energy Convention in November 2013, showcased ENSEA, the European North Sea Energy Alliance. It is an initiative by Energy Valley. The pitch consisted of a number of interesting presentations by industry participants in ENSEA. But what is the aim of the ENSEA partnership as a whole? The project was set up in 2012 to develop collaboration between four North Sea regions in energy and systems integration, to help achieve Europe’s climate and energy goals at lower cost through innovative solutions. This collaboration takes the form of a consortium, bringing together universities, research institutes, businesses, regional authorities and other public or private partners and stakeholders. The four regions in the partnership are the North-Netherlands, Northwest-Germany, Scotland and Norway, each with their own ‘energy-research cluster’. ENSEA builds on previous collaborative efforts between the North-Netherlands and Northwest Germany. Other regions or countries are likely to join the partnership during the next phase of the project, notably Denmark and England.

Read the whole article on the website of the Energy Academy Europe.

The Energy Academy Europe provides education, conducts research and fosters innovation in the field of energy while working towards the transition to a sustainable energy future.

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The ENSEA project entails a step by step approach to identify opportunities to work together with regions around the North Sea and address the challenges of Energy System Integration. Different work packages have been set up, each specifying the activities in the different phases in this process.

At this point, we are happy to announce that the activities with respect to analysing the regional innovation capacities of the individual ENSEA regions is nearing its completion. Desk studies, interviews (with important private and public stakeholders as well as knowledge institutions) and regional workshops have been organized as part of Work Package two (WP2).

Insights gathered through these activities have lead to a in depth analysis of existing regional innovation systems and identifies opportunities for synergetic cooperation on energy system integration across the different ENSEA regions.

The coming months the partners will contribute to the definition of a Joint Action Plan, specifying how regions will be able to take advantage of each others regional talents in future projects while contributing to the development of a competitive and innovative energy economy throughout the North Sea region.

The results of these efforts entail the outcomes of work package number three of the project and will be presented at the ENSEA Midterm Conference, taking place in Stavanger Norway in May 2014.

ENSEA – Work package 2 explained – 735kB

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18 12 2013

Video European North Sea Energy Alliance

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