University of Twente Student Theses


Phasing out natural gas : comparing cost-effective sustainable heating alternatives for both urban and rural areas in the Netherlands.

Avest, Ivo I.B.J. ter (2020) Phasing out natural gas : comparing cost-effective sustainable heating alternatives for both urban and rural areas in the Netherlands.

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Abstract:By the year 2050 around 6 million houses must be transformed to sustainable housing (natural gas free), starting with 100.000 homes before 2022. After 2022, annually 100.000 homes must be disconnected from the gas infrastructure. This research aims to cover the most cost-effective sustainable residential heating alternatives for residents living in urban and rural parts of the Netherlands. Specifically, it focusses on the suitability of sustainable residential heating under specific characteristics of the area. In this context, cost-effective sustainable residential heating is defined as a system which has the ability to provide the requested amount of heat without the usage of fossil fuels and at a fair rate (comparable to using natural gas). To find out what sustainable heating alternatives are viable under certain area specific circumstances, a literature study was carried out. First the necessity for sustainable residential heating in the Netherlands was researched. Here it was found that residential heating plays a major role in phasing out the usage of natural gas. Over 38% of all the natural gas used in the Netherlands is used for heating, making sustainable heating an important factor in becoming a sustainable country. The characteristics of rural and urban areas, and how they affect the suitability of a heating system, were mapped using the information from the municipality of Achtkarspelen and Amsterdam. In order to calculate the costs, charged prices (Dutch companies) were used. The costs of the different heating systems were then brought in relation to the area characteristics and their feasibility. This research has shown that the heat demand, house density, size of residential buildings and the availability of geothermal heat have a great effect on the price and suitability of a system in rural and urban areas. It shows that if geothermal heat is available, that heat networks are viable in urban areas, but less suitable for rural areas. The research shows that besides a heat network biogas, infra-red panels and hydrogen are the most cost-effective alternatives to natural gas. It is found that these systems demand the least upfront costs, and function with a lower annual cost as compared to other alternatives.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:06 documentary information, 43 environmental science
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
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