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About 90% of the City of Antwerp's heating requirements are currently met by fossil fuels such as oil and gas, which negatively impact the environment. This led the city to seek sustainable and affordable alternatives that will help it achieve its climate goals for 2050. Based on Antwerp's 'Climate Plan 2030', the city intends to accelerate its sustainability roadmap and achieve a 50–55% reduction in emissions compared with 2005 levels by 2030. One of the strategies the city is considering to help it meet its goals is the development of a sustainable district heating network powered by residual heat.
The sustainable district heating network will transport residual heat from major industrial businesses to buildings in the city via an underground network. The aim is to connect the equivalent of 35,000 homes by 2030. With its proximity to the port, home to Europe's largest chemical cluster, Antwerp is perfectly placed to roll out the district heating network on a massive scale. A project of this magnitude is truly a first for Belgium.
Arcadis, its subsidiary Over Morgen and AKD will be leading the project over the next three years. How do you create an underground network that serves an entire city without digging up all the streets at the same time? How do you decide who should be able to distribute and use the heat? Where is the best place to set up this kind of district heating network, etc.? In our capacity as advisors, we have drawn up 'roadmap 2030' for the implementation of this complex district heating network program. We are also lending our technical and legal expertise to the city.
The City of Antwerp has identified nine pilot zones that are suitable locations for the district heating networks. Arcadis and Over Morgen will use 'roadmap 2030' to help partners in these zones make the right investment decisions to support the network's development.
Aside from our work on the pilot zones, we are also working with our partners to create a framework for a district heating network that will serve the entire City of Antwerp. The policy must clarify who can use the heat, what the conditions are and how new projects could link up with the heating network in the future. During the first few years, the consumers will mainly be large buildings.
About Over Morgen
Over Morgen is a consultancy firm and a market leader in heat transition in the Netherlands. Over Morgen provides process management, project management and program management services, operating at the junction of sustainable urban development and energy transition. Its goal is to create a future-proof environment. A district heating network on this scale is a first for Belgium. Arcadis is working with its Dutch subsidiary Over Morgen, which already has experience with rolling out this kind of project in Zaanstad, Purmerend, Amsterdam, Haarlem and Apeldoorn. More information can be found at overmorgen.nl/en/
About AKD Advocaten
AKD Benelux Advocaten is a full-service law firm with offices in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. AKD has extensive expertise in energy projects.
This sustainable city-wide district heating network will cover 10% of Antwerp's heating requirements by 2030. It will then be extended to serve a significant portion of the city by 2050. To turn this vision into a reality, we need to start thinking now about how heating demands and other planned infrastructure projects will evolve in the future. The goal with this district heating network is to reduce Antwerp's CO2 emissions by 71 kton by 2030.