System integration Energy


Research: 2016-2020


System integration makes it possible to take full advantage of the supply of sustainable energy in the port area while ensuring continuity of the business processes.



Sustainable energy is increasingly available in the port area. However, the supply of this renewable energy fluctuates as production is highly depending on weather conditions: the intensity of sun and wind. The current activity in the port area is based on a constant supply of energy, so the transition to fluctuating energy supply entails major challenges. System integration makes it possible to optimize the profit from sustainable energy in the port area, even with fluctuating supply, and ensures the continuity of business processes.

Currently, in two NWO projects two integration options are investigated:
FlexI, which stands for Optimal Flexible Energy Use in Industry and HaPSISH, which stands for Heat and Power Systems at Industrial Sites and Harbors.

The researchers are investigating maintaining a stable energy system and preventing power shortages. For example concrete solutions are: an industrial complex that stores surpluses of energy for future use or use elsewhere; a cold store that dims the cooling at low power supply; a chlorine plant that, by higher power in strong winds, has a higher production.

The various studies result in models, analyses or prototypes, which all serve as multi energy simulation platforms for the clusters of energy and chemistry. The aim is to achieve chain integration with a cross-company infrastructure. A prediction of the effects of a fluctuating energy supply would allow for a more accurate prediction of the output of business processes as well. Then organizing the follow-up processes, such as transport, in a smart way, will also come in reach.


  • Models make smart use of fluctuating power supply possible – It becomes possible to map out models of the variable supply of sustainable energy, taking into account various external influences, especially the weather. It, then, becomes possible to intelligently coordinate energy supply and demand.
    The use of residual heat for the production of steam and with that electricity is important. This is beneficial for both the industrial cluster (costs) and the climate (potentially lower CO2 emissions through the use of sustainable energy). At times of large supply, the price of energy may decrease and consequently the energy costs reduce.
  • Peak shaving – Accurate models predict peaks and falls in the energy supply, on which one should anticipate. Energy surpluses can be saved for current or future deficits anywhere on the grid. The system as a whole remains stable.
  • Greater insight into infrastructure options – Insight is gained into how sustainable energy can be integrated into the infrastructure of the cluster. For example: the potential of heating networks and smart grids.
  • Sustainability – Energy system integration allows the entire port complex to make a leap towards a more sustainable process and a reduction in CO2 emissions.


  • Priorities of the cluster and among the individual stakeholders differs – The challenge to find solutions for coping with sustainable and fluctuating energy supply are mainly found at cluster level. There is a lack of urgency about this among individual stakeholders and yet their involvement is necessary for achieving eventual success. Who will take the first step?
  • Impact of electrification on infrastructure – The current infrastructure is designed to use fossil fuels in production processes. In order to make the electrification transition and to invest in this, it is necessary to know what the impact of electrification on the infrastructure will be.
  • Integration of energy storage – How to integrate energy storage in the system? The current industry is built on a constant power supply. How does energy storage contribute to a stable supply of electricity in the future?
  • Implementation in practice – The studies provide theoretical models. Eventually these must be translated in practice.


Towards an energy-efficient cluster – Through smart production planning, heat is used efficiently and without any waste. In addition, through the electrification of processes and the use of sustainable energy, the CO2 emissions of the cluster are reduced.


Centre for Mathematics & Informatics (CWI), Port of Rotterdam Authority, SystemsNavigator, TU Delft, Uniper

The port is used to operating on a constant flow of energy. But the delivery of renewable energy – wind and solar – is not constant. System integration is needed to be able to absorb a growing share of renewable energy in the port. So that energy will always be available in the right form for companies.

Ruud Melieste

Corporate Strategist, Port of Rotterdam Authority

This project is part of the Smart Energy & Industry roadmap. For more information about this project or this roadmap, please contact project developer Mel Valies.