Saving energy and ‘off the gas’ is not an end in itself, but an opportunity to better distribute the available fossil fuels. By designing low-energy or energy-neutral building installations and making maximum use of solar energy, we can become independent of ‘old’ fossil fuels and make buildings future-proof.
I see the energy and sustainability transition as a challenge and a great opportunity. Just like 60 years ago, when we also had an
energy transition from coal and urban gas to Groningen natural gas:
- An opportunity to find and apply new technical solutions.
- An opportunity to apply other energy sources.
- An opportunity for the entire installation and construction sector.
It is precisely by seeing this as an opportunity, and certainly not as a threat, that energy transition creates new possibilities.
We still have 27 years or approximately 5400 working days to do this. That seems a long way off, but during this period, about 4 million homes and 2 million utility and industrial buildings in the Netherlands will have to be adapted or renovated. We see this as a great opportunity for the Netherlands, the Benelux and the whole of Western Europe. In order to complete this mission successfully, there will have to be cooperation, knowledge will have to be shared and new innovations will have to be applied. We must start thinking and acting in a future-oriented way. Because there is no energy problem, there is a storage problem; the sun produces more than enough energy every day, but at the wrong time and at the wrong place. We have to start working on that together, and we are going to use techniques that are not currently common and accessible.