Seven sustainable Rotterdam innovations receive grants from the City of Rotterdam’s Smart Energy Systems Programme


The City of Rotterdam is making energy cleaner, smarter and more efficient with its Smart Energy Systems (SES2021) Programme. Seven Rotterdam initiatives today received a financial contribution from this programme in order to further develop their smart, sustainable innovations. The initiatives vary from recovering lost heat from wastewater and the smart deployment of foldable solar panels, to making entire business parks more sustainable and Schouwburgplein climate-neutral. Projects are eligible for grants of up to €100,000.

According to Arno Bonte, City councillor responsible for climate, the innovative solutions are helping Rotterdam realise its climate ambitions.  “In the coming years, we’re going to switch to clean energy sources. This requires an innovative energy system. We expect these seven projects will help make the energy system cleaner, smarter and more efficient, and provide an impulse for new business and employment.”

Selected initiatives:

  1. Riothermie Relining (sewer-thermal relining) is an innovative sewer-thermal system by Jules Dock, in which heat exchangers in the sewer recover lost energy from wastewater and use it to heat buildings and to cool objects. The innovation cleverly responds to the maintenance needs of the approximately 20-kilometre-long main sewer in Rotterdam. The Riothermie Relining System provides two functions. In addition to the function of energy recovery, there is also the function of repairing (relining) the sewer, so that it will last for another 70 years. The market potential in Rotterdam is comparable to the energy consumption (housing equivalent) of more than 40,000 households.
  2. Under the name Lokalektriciteit (local electricity), Delfshaven Energy Cooperative (DEC), Mattijs Taanman and CoRenew are jointly working on making sustainable energy accessible to all the residents in the Bospolder Tussendijken neighbourhood. To combat energy poverty, DEC is currently building the first two solar roofs in this neighbourhood, with the aim of constructing more cooperative solar roofs in the future. In addition, a new revenue model by CoRenew has been created with the intention of reducing the cost of sustainable energy for residents.
  3. The parties working together under the name 7 Square Endeavor are at the start of the implementation of an energy plan for the realisation of a climate-neutral Schouwburgplein in 2030. In the coming years, the innovative energy concept will be implemented in partnership with Eneco. Realising a CO2-neutral Schouwburgplein is a step forward in the energy transition, and also offers a showcase for comparable local initiatives at other locations in Rotterdam and beyond in the future.
  4. SDC Verifier holding developed Next Level fabricage Rotterdam (next-level manufacturing in Rotterdam) as a cheaper method for assembling and installing flat-roof-mounted and ground-mounted folding and conventional solar panels, and offers a solution to the problem of solar panels on weak roofs. A new feasibility study is looking at realising an assembly line in combination with setting up a small installation at Xtra Materieel’s head office in Rotterdam.
  5. Greenchoice, Spectral, J-OB have joined forces to make Rotterdam industrial estates more sustainable and smarter on a large scale. This joint approach is intended to allow industrial estates to become more sustainable more quickly, so that they can significantly help accelerate the energy transition. Business parks are responsible for 60% of energy consumption in the Netherlands. A first feasibility study has been started at 3 industrial estates in Rotterdam.
  6. The electricity grid of the future will have to be able to cope with new forms of loading and generation by, for example, sun and wind. Methetnet and Crest Sensors have developed Smart transformer monitoring to monitor this properly. It concerns a unique prediction model that provides understanding into the load capacity of transformers in the electricity network. This provides more insight into aspects such as the remaining service life of the transformers, and may reduce the number of maintenance inspections needed in the future.
  7. Starke Energy provides services to stabilise the low-voltage grid. Under the name Ressort Urban Power Bank, the organisation is exploring the feasibility of scaling up to a 1.5-MW urban power bank for 16 locations in Rozenburg.The new application, also known as Storage-as-a-Service, is being tested at housing corporation Ressort Wonen.Both parties are taking an important step in making Rozenburg energy neutral.

New applications

Following the grants allocated to the 7 projects, the City will launch a third and final grant process this summer as part of the Smart Energy Systems (SES2021) Programme. This final process will focus in particular on companies and organisations that respond to social innovation and participation with sustainable solutions. New initiatives can be awarded up to €100,000 to make innovative energy solutions commercially available more quickly. Those interested can register from 2 August to 1 October.  For more information and the conditions, go to

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