RVO and Top Sector Energy asked Common Futures to support them in analysing how the government can facilitate the creation of Energy Hubs in the Netherlands. Common Futures reflected on the categorisation of Energy Hubs and the preconditions for a Decision Support System (BOS).


An Energy Hub is a local physical node in the energy system where supply and demand of energy from one or more energy carriers are matched, possibly using one or more conversion and/or storage steps. Energy Hubs can play a role in solving challenges surrounding the integration of sustainably generated energy into the Dutch energy system. To encourage Energy Hubs to be realised, a Decision Support System (BOS) can be set up. A BOS enables the identification of desired locations, specifications and desired benefits of an Energy Hub. This can ensure structured and efficient planning of Energy Hubs and their stimulation.


In this project, Common Futures conducted interviews with potential users of a BOS, such as (local) government, grid operators, energy companies. We compiled a list of functional and management requirements for a BOS. Some key insights were:

  1. Use a Decision Support System for Energy Hubs from 20MW or 30MW grid connected capacity;
  2. The complexity of a BOS can be greatly reduced by not 'picking' the specific technologies or solutions but identifying the functional building blocks for Energy Hubs, aimed at promoting energy system integration. It is then up to the entrepreneur to propose specific solutions;
  3. It is desirable to set up pilot projects for 'archetype' Energy Hubs in industry, built environment and transport, to draw lessons for future Energy Hubs.


Common Futures has sharpened the definition and categorisation of Energy Hubs. The results of the study on a decision support system were useful for us and I am satisfied with the cooperation and professional support. André de Boer RVO