Sustainable energy: for a clean future in which ECN plays a leading role

As global demand for energy continues to rise, the transition to sustainable energy cannot be put off any longer,. Natural resources and fossil fuel reserves are becoming depleted and water shortages are an ever-more frequent occurrence. Our climate is changing and biodiversity is declining, while huge increases in world energy consumption are reflected in a corresponding increase in CO2 emissions and pollution by other greenhouse gases.

Sustainable energy, including renewable energy technology and energy efficiency, is the prime key to solving international issues concerning climate change and fossil fuel depletion. The market for sustainable energy is worth millions, and offers enormous opportunities for entrepreneurs and suppliers of products and services looking to compete in the international arena. ECN has the technology and expertise needed to rise to this multidisciplinary challenge and play a leading role in realising a clean and sustainable future.

Why ECN?

ECN uses energy innovation to help you to ensure a clean and sustainable future in the following ways:

  • ECN supplies knowledge and technology
    We work within a wide range of scientific disciplines to supply the government and the business sector with knowledge and technology aimed at a sustainable future. 

  • ECN carries out research and gives advice
    We carry out extensive research in the fields of sustainable energy, energy efficiency and clean ways of using fossil fuels and provide independent advice to the Dutch government concerning its energy policies.

  • ECN builds bridges
    Our unique mix of know-how and research infrastructure builds a bridge between scientific knowledge and its practical application in the business sector. Organisations are invited to use our extensive test facilities to test technologies and innovations that they can apply directly in their business operations.

  • ECN develops
    Our mission is to work with and for the market to develop knowledge and technology to facilitate the transition to a sustainable energy economy. We aim to involve the cleantech sector at an early stage, as commercial businesses form the driving force behind sustainable energy development.

Leading sector in the Netherlands and beyond

Energy is an area in which the Netherlands excels, which is why the Dutch government has assigned the energy sector as one of nine ‘Top Sectors’: top economic sectors in which the country plays a leading role worldwide. This sector offers opportunities to raise the profile of the Netherlands internationally and to strengthen its global competitiveness.

Knowledge partner for Top Consortia

ECN plays an important role in the Top Sector Energy as a knowledge institute working in partnership with businesses and universities. The government has organised research, energy innovation, technological development and collaboration between sector participants in seven public-private partnerships known as Top Consortia for Knowledge and Innovation (TKIs). ECN is an active participant in five of these TKIs: Solar Energy, Offshore Wind, Biobased Economy, Gas and Energy Savings in process technology (ISPT).

Knowledge partner for the European Union

But ECN does more than this. The transition to a reliable, sustainable and competitive energy system is one of the Societal Challenges in the EU Horizon 2020 research programme. In the Energy Challenge, researchers and businesses from all over the EU are working together to make Europe stronger economically and more sustainable in its use of energy. ECN is a key knowledge partner in this transition.

Read more about ECN’s research programmes for knowledge and technology development in the following fields: