Rotterdam, city of energy transition

Rotterdam is stepping ahead as a frontrunner city, pioneering solutions for global challenges with an innovative spirit that sets it apart. At the forefront of developments is a collective effort top work towards tomorrow's energy system. When it comes to the energy transition, one of the most important challenges of our time, Rotterdam has big ambitions. The special composition of the Rotterdam metropolitan region features the biggest port in Europe, the industrial and petrochemical clusters based here and the related logistics. It is also a very densely populated region. This unique mix makes Rotterdam perfectly positioned to play a prominent role and be the logical centre where many innovations are taking shape.

The eyes of the world are on Rotterdam as a leading city in the energy transition. And with good reason. Rotterdam, located on the North Sea, has the largest port Europe and an extensive port-industrial complex. This industrial cluster largely relies on the use of fossil fuels, which are associated with the emission of harmful gases, makes expediting the energy transition a must. In line with international momentum regarding climate change, scarcity of resources, the need for energy security and in the context of international, national and local ambitions, and with the port’s ambition to be fully climate neutral by 2050, it’s crucial to make our city and port future proof. And that requires innovation.

As hydrogen hub, Rotterdam is attracting significant international investments, leveraging its strategic location, robust infrastructure, existing industries and a supportive business ecosystem. Rotterdam’s forward-thinking approach, its inventiveness and DNA for hard work and experimenting not only bolster the city’s energy security but also positions it as a leader in the transition to renewable fuels. Citizens and visitors alike can witness this ongoing transformation firsthand, as the world’s first hydrogen powered water taxis are already sailing the river Maas and with the Future Mobility Park as testing ground for sustainable transport innovations, such as the Hardt Hyperloop.

Working towards tomorrow’s energy system

Rotterdam’s commitment to innovation extends beyond corporate investments. The city’s vibrant ecosystem nurtures and supports innovative start-up and scale-ups companies fostering a culture of collaboration and experimentation. Rotterdam’s citizens are also actively involved in its energy transition efforts, with municipal energy coaches advising and helping to contribute in insulating homes and reducing emissions. All with one common goal: working towards tomorrow’s energy system.

Cooperation is key

While the Netherlands is internationally renowned for its consensus decision-making, we can certainly describe Rotterdam in terms of cooperation, enterprise and experimentation. Government, businesses and entrepreneurs, knowledge and research institutions work closely and actively together on important innovations to achieve ambitions relating to energy transition, digitalisation and circularity. The ‘triple helix’ here is not a paper model; it is the essence of progress, revealed in special facilities, hubs, programmes and partnerships which accelerate the energy transition. Concrete examples include the Rotterdam Offshore Wind Coalition, the PortXL programme, the Smart Energy Systems Programme (SES), the Human Capital Coalition Energy Transition, Platform Zero and UP!Rotterdam.

Transition guides innovation in all sectors

The energy transition is a sector-overarching theme, which forces businesses in all sectors to think about their processes, products and services, impact, purpose and the role they want to play in the world. The energy transition thus guides innovation tasks in the energy cluster, but also in other sectors in which Rotterdam performs so well, including Maritime, Transport & Logistics, Agri & Food, Life Sciences & Health, IT & Tech. Digitalisation, circularity and renewable or clean energy are essential resources which facilitate the transition. The urgency behind the energy transition, the special ecosystem and Rotterdam’s characteristic resolve and collaborative and active approach mean that there are many opportunities in this metropolitan area for established businesses to invest in the future, and for start-ups and scale-ups working on innovative technologies and solutions.

Photo credits: Danny Cornelissen, Kunst en Vliegwerk, Gerhard van Roon | Guido Pijper | World Hydrogen Summit | Willem de Kam | Air Products | Iris van den Broek | ZeroAvia | Pixabay | Rotterdam Partners 

My favourite venues (0)