Arnhem - Nijmegen region is laying in the mid eastern part of The Netherlands in the province Gelderland and counts about 20 municipalities orientated on the cities Arnhem and Nijmegen. With 733.000 inhabitants in an area of some 1.000 square kilometres it is one of the densest urbanised regions of The Netherlands.
In 2010 the building stock in the region counted 332.000 dwellings built in diverse times and styles. About 30 to 40% of them are rental residences. In Arnhem and Nijmegen this is about 50%. In this decade 26.000 up to 31.000 new buildings have to be build to meet the demand. The national contribution of durable energy supply is only about 3,5%. The declining of Netherlands gas-supply means a steadily growing dependency of foreign delivery, already higher compared to surrounding countries.
Until 2015 some nearly zero energy projects have emerged in the region, as separate actions in the absence of strong response. On the level of neighbourhoods no successful project has come to terms with reducing the demand of energy to get along with sustainable energy supply. Until recently policy, cooperation and approach was not coherent and fragmented. This is slowly changing. Province Gelderland and the municipalities of Arnhem and Nijmegen are working on integrated climate action plans and energy programmes. The municipality of Arhem has initiated the program Energy Made in Arnhem and the municipality of Nijmegen the programme Power2Nijmegen. Through this programmes companies, building societies, NGO’s and schools are involved to a more integrated approach.
The transition towards a region-wide realisation of NZEB’s, completed with a suitable renewable energy-supply is a rational operation to reduce CO2 emissions as promised part of climate protection. This region consists of many large-scale social housing projects scheduled for renovation. Converting these houses into NZEB’s is necessary but is a serious challenge for this region requiring full cooperation. Next to affordable healthy housing it provides a tempting chance for an economic transformation into a durable society as a whole.
Arnhem: Participant in National Green Deal Smart Energy Cities and initiator of the program Energy Made in Arnhem
The national Green Deal Smart Cities aims to supply 100.000 buildings with smart (and sustainable) energy systems before 2019. Energy made in Arnhem is a program from the municipality, working with inhabitants and entrepreneurs, aiming to make fast progress in sustainability, energy saving, renewable energy sources and development and stimulation of innovations and employment in energy and environmental technology. Several initiatives are being coordinated from these programmes to stimulate (learning about) green energy. One example is POWERLAB, an experience center for sustainable electric energy, meant for children in primary or secondary school, for students and for businesses to learn about and work with sustainable electric energy. Several conferences and meetings are yearly being organized or hosted by the municipality of Arnhem to increase awareness for sustainable energy with businesses and residents and to stimulate local entrepreneurs in sustainability in developing their business and connecting to other businesses in this field.
Nijmegen: initiator of Power2Nijmegen
The municipality of Nijmegen has the ambition to become an energyneutral city in 2045, by reducing energy-use by 50% and gaining the rest from renewable energy sources. Many projects have been initiated since 2008 and it has already resulted in an energy reduction of 7%. In 2012 the program Power2Nijmegen was initiated as a co-creation between the municipality, companies, knowledge institutes, social organisations and other experts to jointly investigate and initiate ideas in different fields to reach the ambitious goal of becoming energyneutral as a city. A routemap has been developed with all sorts of projects to reach the end goal. One of the fields is sustainable building and this working group has projected large scale passive building and renovation in Nijmegen from the year 2025 onwards. Intermediate steps towards this end have been identified and are intended to be addressed in the coming years. Other examples of major energy projects are the building of a district heating net that uses the rest-warmth of a waste treatment plant, which will supply energy for 11.000 houses from 2015 onwards and the building of a big biogas-installation using green waste, which has been realised already. This gas is being used by for example city buses. A park with wind-turbines is now being built which will provide 8000 homes with energy from 2016 onwards. There is also an initiative to change the energy consumption behaviour of residents in the city area of Neerbosch-Oost, using a combination of interventions and with a high emphasis on involving neighbourhood-residents. The PassReg project is also part of the movement of Power2Nijmegen. In 2013 a Green Deal was made between 20 municipalities in Gelderland, corporations and businesses about using GPR (an assessment tool for the sustainability of buildings) and developing a common language in sustainable building as well as agreeing to lead their organizations on outlines towards more sustainable practices. The main purpose of this green deal, which was initiated by the government, is to create more consciousness and commitment in organisations, so that this will inspire more ambitious steps in the future. In October 2014 several government officials from the municipality joint the excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, organized by DNA in de Bouw. They were specifically interested in how Nijmegen could benefit from a project like this.