ECN nieuwsbrief
ECN's digital newsletter Issue 1 - March 2013

Top sectors full steam ahead

Take a look at ECN's TKI projects

ECN as gateway to the Asian energy technology market

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Energy cheaper thanks to electricity grid in the North Sea

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New strategic direction for ECN
Wind Energy

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ECN maps Dutch energy trends

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From 25 to 27 March, ECN will be present at SiliconPV 2013, the third international conference on solar energy based on silicon in Hameln, Germany. In 2014, ECN will host this conference.

From 16 to 18 April, ECN will demonstrate its engineering services at the Maintenance NEXT event in the Ahoy in Rotterdam. Next to our engineering services, we offer the maintenance sector research on corrosion, damage and environment.

From 14 to 16 May ECN will be represented at SNEC International Photovoltaic Power Generation Conference and Exhibition in Shanghai.

Rebecca Groen


What I like about the energy sector is that there is never one single solution. The challenges are complex and there are always multiple solutions. That has been my experience over the past years working as subsea marketing director for General Electric (GE) with the oil and gas industry. And this impression has only been strengthened since I joined ECN as business developer six months ago. I am truly impressed by the depth and broad range of knowledge and expertise we have at ECN on all these various challenges and their solutions.

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Wooden Coke bottles

Non-edible biomass needs to be deployed as fully and as efficiently as possible for high-quality applications. In a nutshell, this is what the partnership between ECN and the chemical research company Avantium is all about. The organosolv process developed by ECN supplies semi-processed products for Avantium’s YXY process, which converts sugars into raw materials for plastics. These plastics are of such quality that soda giant Coca Cola is interested in Avantium’s bottles, produced entirely from biological components.

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Wouter Huijgen (left, ECN) and Jan Kees van der Waal (right, Avantium): making use of second generation biomass (Photo: Willy Slingerland)

Biofuel under fire

Bioenergy touches upon some very urgent global issues. On the one hand, deployment of the right kind of biomass can help curb the greenhouse effect. After all, when using biomass as a source of energy, CO2 is released which these plants absorbed from the atmosphere during growth. Hence, in the ideal situation there is no net CO2 emission. On the other hand, irresponsible deployment of biomass may cause much harm. How does ECN contribute? We aim to ensure that to the extent that biomass is produced, this is done with due care and high efficiency. We are working on advanced technology to convert the relatively low-grade biomass flows in a clean and efficient manner into high-grade energy and other useful products.

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Photo Willy Slingerland

‘Measuring air quality’

Soon, thirty strategically selected locations in Eindhoven will have boxes sized 36 by 20 by 15 centimetres. Every few minutes, these boxes will send information on the air quality to a central database. At the heart of the boxes are two sensors developed by ECN. One sensor in the box measures the concentration of nitrogen dioxide, which is emitted by sources such as traffic. The other sensor maps the volume and size of the particles floating in the air.


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Grid parity for solar electricity

The Netherlands is among the first countries in Europe where consumers pay the same price for solar electricity and conventional electricity. This statement was made by ECN’s Wim Sinke in an interview broadcasted by NOS Radio, in response to a European study. The attractive price of solar electricity becomes evident from the number of solar power installations that were installed in the Netherlands in 2012.

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Source: Dutch radio

Lower maintenance costs for wind turbines

Early detection of potential problems with off shore wind turbines may prevent damage and loss of output and drastically reduces maintenance costs. ECN’s Fiber Optic Blade Monitoring system informs wind farm managers before the first signals of damage occur.

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Source: Renewable Energy World


The Netherlands needs to fully go for biomass as a source of renewable energy.


More information?

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This newsletter is published by ECN for its relations. Copying of articles or parts thereof is allowed provided that the source is mentioned.