Warmtenet Eeklo (Eeklo Heat Grid)
The City of Eeklo has granted a concession to Warmtenet Eeklo, a consortium of the infrastructure group Veolia NV-SA and citizen cooperative Ecopower cvba, to construct and run a heat grid based on residual heat. The City of Eeklo is the first in Belgium to fully open up its territory for the construction of a heat grid. There is no regulatory framework for heat grids in Belgium at the moment. The heat grid will be constructed in phases. A detailed study is currently underway for the first step of the IVM waste-to-energy plant along the AZ Alma hospital to the Nieuwendorpe industrial zone. An initial phase will also involve several large buildings in Oostveldwijk being connected to local heat clusters: the new swimming pool, sports hall, psychiatric centre and secondary school. In the same area, Plusoffice architects conducted research by design as part of the IABR–Atelier East Flanders Core Region, in which it examines how demographic growth can be used as a lever for the energy transition in the district. During later phases, various other districts and industrial zones can be connected to the heat grid.
A unique aspect of Eeklo's heat grid is that citizens can also become co-owners. In total, 35% of the project is open to direct financial participation. This citizen participation model ensures that residents of the city not only share the added value, but also have a real say in its governance. What's more, anyone residing along the route can join voluntarily. In accordance with the ‘not more than otherwise principle,’ the consumer will not pay more for the heat supplied by the heat grid than for the individual consumption of natural gas.
Ecopower cv, Veolia, REScoop
organisational form, ownership, policy innovation, financing
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Eeklo heat vision: The ‘Sustainable Heat’ challenge in the spotlight
Eeklo heat grid
The territory of Eeklo will be completely opened up for the construction of the heat grid, which will eventually make Eeklo completely gas-free. To this end, Eeklo is cooperating with the multinational Veolia and the citizen cooperative Ecopower to bridge the major infrastructure costs. The small, local heat clusters from the first phase will be connected to the large heat grid, fed by residual heat from the waste energy plant, in the second phase.
photo: AVS Oost-Vlaamse televisie, 2020
Oostveld, energy district of the future in Eeklo
Demographic growth offers an opportunity to link the required densification to the energy transition. A number of specific energy and space strategies can be developed for each type of building in the district. This type of task can also serve as an example for other municipalities.
photo: Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen, Departement Omgeving, IABR, AWB, Eeklo, Enprove, Plusoffice architects, 2018?
photo: Tom Ysebaert (De Standaard). Gemeente voor de toekomst, Bond Beter Leefmilieu, 2018