The municipality of Hoorn stands before a great challenge: making all housing natural gas-free to reduce its contribution to CO2 emissions. This ambition is broadly in line with the Climate Agreement of July 2018, which foresees that municipalities have to present their roadmap for sustainable heating by 2021. The roadmaps are to indicate a timeline for all neighbourhoods and the most viable renewable heating option per neighbourhood.
There was a definite need for a common vision: what does a natural gas-free Hoorn look like? Where to begin? And especially: how can we implement this project together with the stakeholders? The municipality of Hoorn has asked Over Morgen to draft a roadmap for sustainable heating together with the main stakeholders, as established by the municipal executive board and the city council.
Hoorn wants to be energy neutral by 2040, which means that the city will have to generate as much renewable energy as it consumes. This also means that the built environment in Hoorn will have to be heated in a different way. The built environment has to be insulated in order to be able to transition to sustainable heating alternatives without natural gas. This does not happen from one day to the other, but gradually.
The roadmap that Over Morgen has drafted for the municipality of Hoorn provides the focus and the direction needed to be able to work towards a natural gas-free transition in the coming years. We operate neighbourhood by neighbourhood, and ensure that the process remains affordable and clearly understandable for the Hoorn residents. For a certain neighbourhood, for example, a heat pump may be the most attractive option, while for other neighbourhoods the most cost-effective alternative could be a heating network. Hoorn has great geothermal potential, which constitutes a sustainable, future-proof heating source. In combination with small-scale sources such as surface water or thermal energy from the sewer, it is also possible to create a heating network with adequate market opportunities. The work to build this can already begin. Secondly, all-electric concepts should be an important component of the future heat supply in Hoorn. These concepts are not yet convenient in terms of societal costs on a large scale, but can be already implemented in small scale. Also in those locations where there is currently no suitable alternative, it is convenient to start insulating the existing housing and introduce electric cooking for the residents, in order to prepare them for the alternative heat supply in a timely manner.
A neighbourhood implementation plan will be drafted for the first neighbourhoods scheduled to undergo the transition. The parties involved will discuss how to finance the transition to natural gas-free solutions, the role of all relevant parties and how to elicit communication and participation from the residents. One thing is certain: the heat transition is a complex procedure that will require the participation of everyone in Hoorn. We have therefore invited all parties in Hoorn to work together and define the steps needed to make living and working without natural gas a possibility.