In Hoek, an important step was taken at the beginning of 2020 towards an industrial heat network. The idea is to use residual heat (heat released during an industrial process, which can no longer be used) from industrial companies such as Dow to heat homes in an environmentally friendly way, as an alternative to natural gas. In 2050, everyone must be off natural gas in order to drastically reduce CO2 emissions. That is why the collaboration between the municipality of Terneuzen and the interest group Restwarmtenet Hoek is now on paper and hard work is being done on the next steps.
Little investment needed in the home
Very large investments in housing are not necessary, an initial exploration has revealed. The gas boiler will have to be replaced by a heat exchanger and new supply and return pipes will be needed. How these will be laid at the houses needs to be investigated and agreed with the owners. Radiators can just stay. The monthly costs arise from the investments in the infrastructure.
The first design of the main network and street plan for Hoek is expected to be ready by the end of 2022. This will clarify what the route may look like and what the actual connection costs per household will be. At the beginning of 2023, the municipal council will make a decision whether the residual heat network will actually be installed. In a few years we hope to heat the residents of Hoek with our residual heat.
Association Restwarmtenet Hoek
At the beginning of this year, an enthusiastic group of residents of Hoek set up the Association Restwarmtenet Hoek. The association is committed to representing the interests of the residents of Hoek in the design and construction of the residual heat network. The association is involved as an equal partner in the explorations and investigations. The website residualheatnethoek.nl was recently launched. Here residents of Hoek can register as a member and are kept informed of progress regarding the residual heat network. Do you have questions about the heat network? An extensive question and answer overview can be found on that website.
Residents of Hoek can become a member of the RestwarmteNet Hoek association. A membership costs five euros per household and there are no further obligations. But it is an important signal to investors to show that the whole of Hoek is participating in this initiative. And the more participants participate, the cheaper it gets.
The project goes much further than Dow and Hoek. Our Technology and Innovation Manager at Dow Benelux, Kees Biesheuvel, is working on it nationwide, in the knowledge platform Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT).
Many companies can supply
The village of Hoek can get the scoop, but according to Biesheuvel it is obvious to look much broader from the start, to the entire Zeeland-Flemish and Belgian Canal Zone, up to and including the city of Ghent. Many companies are active in that area, such as the steel factory ArcelorMittal and the food producer Cargill, which can supply hot industrial water to households. Biesheuvel: “Working across borders also makes it even more interesting for Brussels, which brings subsidy options into the picture.” So that's promising.