Highlights 2016

The year 2016 at a glance

Through our projects and participations we aim to move policy, awareness, research and innovation forward towards a sustainable energy system. Below you will find an overview of results and events that we consider to be among the highlights of 2016.



Learning activities

Together with the University of Groningen (RUG) and Hanze UAS we work on broadening and deepening the knowledge of the energy transition. As an addition to regular curricula, EAE organises learning activities such as multidisciplinary masterclasses, excursions and lectures available to students of Hanze UAS and RUG. In 2016, 19 different activities took place, with a total of some 900 participants.



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Energy Academy Europe Certificate

We awarded "EAE Energy Certificates" for the first time in 2016. Energy Academy set common requirements and criteria for the Certificate together with Hanze UAS and RUG, representing a milestone in the supplementary range of learning activities that EAE offers.

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MOOC: Solving the Energy Puzzle

In 2016 the EAE and RUG’s Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) "Solving the Energy Puzzle" was rolled out successfully twice more. A total of roughly 3,800 participants followed the online course, which was originally launched in September 2015.





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Co-operation with China

As a result of EAE’s matchmaking and networking activities, the China Scholarship Council (CSC) granted a Sino-Dutch Doctoral programme on biomass energy through Northwest A&F University (NWAFU) and RUG. EAE will co-ordinate this new Doctoral programme, linking China and the Netherlands. The first 2 of 9 candidates have already been selected and are expected to begin their PhD course in April 2017. In addition to this programme, EAE supported a further 4 PhD candidates from China who have meanwhile started their doctoral research at RUG.

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2016 saw the public launch of Energysense, a large-scale longitudinal research platform that will map everything there is to know about energy use in Dutch households. 10,000 Households - 10 years: never before has there been an initiative into energy use on this scale. This is one of EAE’s flagship facilities, and is provided by RUG.




EnergySense from Energy Academy Europe on Vimeo.

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In October 2016, three well-established Dutch organisations – TNO, ECN and EAE – signed the agreement for the foundation of the Energy Systems Transition Centre/ESTRAC. Starting with a significant fund (5 million euros) the new organisation endeavours to integrate and address major energy issues, research studies and practical applications from all possible angles. ESTRAC was formed as an interdisciplinary and open innovation centre in which energy-related businesses, knowledge-based organisations and other institutions can join and work together on major energy questions.

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Start-up FastTrack & Energy Venture Lab

The Start-up FastTrack business accelerator programme had its second release at the start of 2016.  Nine energy start-ups were offered a custom-made, intensive programme comprising of courses, networking, coaching and an inspiring environment with useful facilities and networks. SFT was succeeded by Energy Venture Lab (start programme January 2017).

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Energy Hackathon

The EnTranCe Energy Barn was the venue for the first energy hackathon in the Netherlands, with participants from the Netherlands and abroad. The event was organised by ENGIE, facilitated by EAE and supported by Hacked in Groningen, the Province of Groningen, Municipality of Groningen, IBM and others.

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In December 2016, 26 policymakers from 24 developing countries and emerging economies from all over the world came to Groningen for the first 8-day training programme on energy transition. The programme addressed key issues related to energy policy, technology and finance for the development of sustainable energy systems. 15 leading experts from RUG, Hanze UAS and corporate partners gave lectures and held discussions on topics concerning the challenges and drivers of sustainable energy for productive applications.

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Workshop OLEC

The Oldenburger Energiecluster (OLEC) and EAE jointly hosted a workshop on “sustainable energy transitions in urban areas”. The workshop took place in June in Oldenburg.
The aim of the workshop was to explore what we can learn from each other about energy transition developments and how businesses and researchers on both sides of the border can co-operate on smart energy solutions.

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World Energy Council (WEC)

EAE is a member of the Dutch Member Committee of the World Energy Council (WEC). Together with the Board of this committee, the EAE organised a two-day visit to the Netherlands by the Secretary-General of the WEC Global Secretariat, Dr Christoph Frei, in May 2016. He met with various stakeholders and gave an “energy lecture” to students in Groningen.

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Studies and Advice

Planbureau voor de leefomgeving

The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL)): study and final report “Energy Transition and Foreign Energy Policy: What Can We Learn from Other Countries?”

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Review of draft report “Promising Energy and Climate Policy”.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Contribution to energy course for diplomats from the Ministry.

Nationaal Coördinator Groningen

Quick scan for collective solutions for increasing the sustainability of the energy supply of Ten Post.


Energy Academy Europe Building

Winter 2016 upon completion, EAE-offices relocated to the most sustainable education building in the Netherlands, which was built at Zernike Campus Groningen: Groningen University’s Energy Academy Europe building.

The building recently won the prestigious BREEAM award, which recognises the building’s sustainability.

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Chairman of the Supervisory Board

Max van den Berg was appointed Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EAE with effect from the 1st of July. He succeeds Gertjan Lankhorst as Chairman.

EAE Office

As of the 31st of December, 2016, the EAE office comprised 22 employees (17.4 FTE) and 2 student assistants (0.6 FTE).