System integration

Making the energy system sustainable goes hand in hand with major infrastructural challenges at local, regional, and national levels. This impacts the systems that provide us with heat, electricity, and green molecules, such as hydrogen. In future, these systems will be much more interconnected, enabling them to together provide reliable, affordable, and clean energy when needed. GDN’s research aims to make that possible.

Linking systems

GDN is investigating the potential of integrating different energy systems. Together with various parties, we are looking for locations to smartly connect future energy systems. Good transport and storage infrastructure is necessary to match the production and demand for energy. To enable the transport of hydrogen, for example, it seems attractive to convert part of the existing infrastructure and clearly establish which existing pipelines can be used for which purposes (natural gas, hydrogen, and CO2, for example). The construction of new transport networks will also be necessary, at national, regional, and local levels.

Energy system founded on flexibility

Our heavy reliance on solar and wind energy in the near future will cause fluctuations in the energy supply. Geothermal energy is also likely to play an important future role in our heat supply. The integration of large amounts of renewable energy will require a flexible energy system. At times of abundant solar, wind, and geothermal energy supply, we will be able to generate more energy than needed at that moment.

Underground energy storage

Storing surplus sustainably generated energy in the subsurface can prevent shortages at other peak times. This storage could be in the form of hydrogen, compressed air, or hot water, for example, but we are also investigating other forms of underground storage. Together, these options will be able to bridge shortages and surpluses across different timescales (from hours to days to seasons). The large-scale storage of renewable energy can take place in depleted gas fields, salt caverns and subsurface aquifers. GDN is researching promising existing and new locations for storing energy in the subsurface, both on- and offshore.


We are closely involved in research projects applying the integration of systems. The public-private North Sea Energy Programme, for example, is focused on system integration for the offshore energy transition. Within the context of this programme, we are exploring opportunities for smart solutions relating to offshore hydrogen production in energy parks, the electrification of oil and gas production to reduce emissions, and the transport and underground storage of carbon dioxide and hydrogen. We are also involved in Hy3, a German-Dutch partnership investigating the potential of hydrogen production, transport, and storage across national borders. 

Want to know more?

For more information, please contact Joris Koornneef, Senior Consultant System Integration and Energy Storage, or Remco Groenenberg, Senior Scientist Underground Energy Storage via the blue ‘mail directly’ button below.

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