Both data and energy are key concepts in all sectors, because everything that is produced and consumed within society has a direct link with energy.

There will be far-reaching changes in the energy sector, in which Big Data plays a major role. Indirectly, this will affect traffic, food production and waste processing.

This theme aims to facilitate and accelerate the energy transition. For decades little has changed in the way energy is generated and distributed in the Netherlands. Energy is generated in a number of large power stations and then fed through the electricity and gas network to the customer. These power stations adapt so that supply and demand are precisely balanced.

New challenges

However, with the advent of renewable energy, we are on the eve of fundamental changes in the energy sector. Firstly, energy will increasingly be generated decentrally by solar panels, wind turbines, heat pumps, bio-fermentation, etc. Secondly, it will be a new challenge to match supply and demand.

After all, much more coordination is needed to get the energy from all those separate solar panels in the right place. In addition, renewable sources are much more unpredictable: sometimes there is a lot of sun and wind, sometimes there is little. Storage is therefore necessary to be able to use the surplus when there is no wind or sun. Thirdly, the separate networks of gas, electricity and heat/cold will need to be better connected. For example, excess electricity can be stored as synthetic gas or as heat/cold.

The role of ICT

ICT plays a major role in this turnaround because it can meet the need for coordination. Network operators are increasingly rolling out smart meters and sensors to be able to offer this coordination. This results in large flows of data that must be integrated and analysed using smart algorithms.


The objective of this theme is to use public-private partnerships to bring about a change in the use of data in the energy domain. To this end, key players from industry, science and government will be linked together, and special calls will be developed that focus on specific sub-problems.

Rol of the NWO and TNO

The NWO carries out the calls and is involved in supporting the C2D organisation. TNO offers expertise and facilities such as the Hybrid Energy System Integration (HESI) Lab in Groningen at the Energy Transition Center (EnTranCe).

Contact information

Dr. Mark van Assem (NWO Exact and Natural Sciences)

Dr. Leo Korstanje (NWO Applied and Technical Sciences)


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Related calls

View the calls related to the theme Energy

Related projects

View the projects related to the theme Energy