Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 2 March 2020.
Dutch clean energy conglomerate Koolen Industries is expanding its mobile electricity supply systems in Amsterdam to help curb harmful emissions in the city.
City of Amsterdam’s Clean Air Action Plan sets out measures that will enable Amsterdam to comply with European air quality standards in the short term. But the city has even greater ambitions as it is aiming to meet the guidelines of the World health Organisation (WHO), which are twice as strict, by 2030.
To help the city reach these goals, Koolen Industries subsidiary Super B is installing high-end lithium iron phosphate batteries in canal boats that are being converted from diesel to electric power, and its sister company SmartGrid, which specialises in battery systems installations, has created a floating battery employed by Skoon Energy to provide several applications in the city and port area of Amsterdam with mobile stored power.
“Amsterdam’s efforts to transition from fossil fuels to clean electricity have moved beyond piecemeal solutions. We are creating an integrated renewable energy system that stores and delivers power from solar panels to where it is needed, even when the sun is not shining,” said Kees Koolen, Chairman and CEO, Koolen Industries.
Harvesting energy from the sun is an increasingly attractive proposition for ordinary people.
“By installing solar panels on the roofs of their homes, our customers become participants in the electricity market. In addition to producing their own electricity, they can also sell any surplus power to the grid companies. We call them prosumers, because they are both producers and consumers of electricity, and for many people this is a great way to make a bit of money, while contributing to the energy transition,” said Hans Bouhof, CEO, Energy Experience Group, which owns solar installations firm BonGo Solar.
Energy storage solutions
Once generated, the electricity must either be used immediately, or it must be stored. Koolen Industries has invested in an extensive range of energy storage solutions that serve different purposes.
“Our lithium iron phosphate batteries are ideal for both maritime vessels and for medium-sized energy storage systems, and for a host of other applications, because they are more stable, more powerful and have a longer lifespan than other lithium battery types,” said Dennis de Zeeuw, CEO, Super B.
For medium-scale projects, bromine flow batteries store electricity at a fraction of the cost of traditional batteries, safely and with a long lifetime.
“Our flow batteries use an inexpensive chemistry that combines hydrogen and bromine, which are both abundant and readily available wherever you are in the world. These batteries deliver high power and energy density, providing the cheapest medium-sized stationary storage. This makes it a perfect solution for small communities,” said Guido Dalessi, CEO, Elestor.
Green ammonia offers yet another clean energy storage and transportation solution.
“Green ammonia can be produced at large scale in faraway places, such as remote wind farms or solar parks. It is energy dense and easy to store. Green ammonia is safe and easy to transport to where the electricity is needed. In addition to being used for massive storage and transportation of clean energy, green ammonia can also be used in fuel cell applications to power vessels and vehicles,” said Hans Vrijenhoef, CEO, Proton Ventures.
The discussion should not be about what is the best energy storage solution, as all these are necessary to make the energy transition a success.
“Different challenges need different solutions, so SmartGrid creates bespoke energy storage systems that are designed for specific industrial and mobile applications. Sometimes, that means using lithium batteries, other times we use flow batteries, hydrogen or ammonia,” said Gerben Hilbolt, CEO, SmartGrid and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Koolen Industries.
The creation of an affordable and reliable clean energy system will power dramatic growth of a number of user-friendly solutions, such as battery powered canal boats, replacing diesel generators at events, shareable floating batteries or smart charging infrastructure for cars, buses and trucks.
Skoon’s floating battery solution will for instance help balance the electricity grid during peak demand periods, such as when the electric tourist vessels need to top up their batteries.
“With the floating battery, we will also deliver clean energy to construction sites, renovation projects and music festivals in parts of the city where the electricity grid is congested. As an alternative to diesel generators, the battery will help reduce noise pollution and emissions,” said Peter Paul van Voorst tot Voorst, CEO, Skoon Energy.
In addition, said Koen Overtoom, CEO, Port of Amsterdam, “We have started this project with Skoon, as it is in line with our ambition to create partnerships that will help us become a zero emissions port. Together with Skoon and Zoev City, the floating battery will also be deployed in the city centre of Amsterdam.”
Arnaud van der Sluis, CEO, Floading Energy, added: “We offer stand-alone wired and wireless charging solutions for virtually any vehicle with a battery, at any location and at any scale.”
Beyond the roads and canals, Koolen Industries has also invested in an emerging technology that will soon provide a clean alternative to continental flights.
“Hyperloop is as fast as a plane and uses less energy per passenger than a train, and the little power it does use comes from renewable sources so people will be able to enjoy high speed zero emissions guilt-free travel,” said Tim Houter, CEO, Hardt Hyperloop.
Robotics and artificial intelligence company Aziobot is also looking to the future.
“Battery powered autonomous vehicles are making inroads in a range of industries. With applications such as intelligent autonomous cleaning robots making life easier for people, we commence our road to various solutions for a broad range of different markets,” said Sarthak Yadav, CEO, Aziobot.
Sustainable Development Goals
Koolen Industries is committed to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal number 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy.
“The world is crying out for change. Decarbonisation of the energy sector requires urgent action. What people want is a transition to renewable and clean energy, such as solar and wind, and for this to happen we will need abundant energy storage. Koolen Industries was created as a response to this challenge,” said Kees Koolen.
About Port of Amsterdam
Port of Amsterdam is always looking for new opportunities to become faster, smarter and cleaner. The circular economy and the energy transition are attracting innovative new companies to the port, while well-established companies are investing in innovation. Regarding logistics and accessibility, we promote water and rail transport and other ‘greener’ alternatives. And by embracing digitalisation in all our processes, we support our customers in establishing faster, smarter and cleaner processes in logistics and other parts of their operations. As solar power becomes more popular, consumers will also see prices fall.
About Koolen Industries
The mission of Koolen Industries is to enable everyone to contribute to and participate in the energy transition. Generating clean energy from wind and the sun, and developing solutions that store, transport and deliver this energy, we provide consumers with an autonomous life, independent of the grid.
Koolen Industries invests in and builds a group of companies that together will make sure renewable energy will always be available, whenever and wherever it is needed. Reliable and safe. Made possible by ingenious software.
Since its inception in 2019, Koolen Industries announced participations in BonGo Solar (solar panel installations), Super B (lithium batteries), Smart Grid (Energy Storage Systems), Elestor (flow batteries), Proton Ventures (clean energy storage in ammonia), Skoon Energy (cloud platform for renting mobile energy storage and mobile energy storage containers), Floading Energy (charging infrastructure), Hardt Hyperloop (hyperloop technology), Aziobot (a robotics startup developing a cleaning robot with revolutionary autonomous AI software) and EIT InnoEnergy, a company that invests in sustainable energy start-ups across Europe.