Want to innovate in the green energy or clean tech sector? Start your business in the Netherlands

With constant news spreading about global warming, rapidly thinning fossil fuel sources and oceans filled with plastic debris, it’s no wonder that there are more and more innovative entrepreneurs who want to contribute to a healthier and safer planet. If you are considering pitching your environment-friendly idea anywhere in the world, the Netherlands might be your best bet. The country is known for its innovative and unique solutions, using sustainable power sources and utilizing established methods to gain completely new goals. Next to that, many crossovers between sectors give room to an interdisciplinary approach that is unique in its kind. Read on for more interesting information about the clean energy and technology sectors in the Netherlands.

The clean technology sector in the Netherlands

During the past few years the clean technology industry in the Netherlands has grown exponentially. This is largely due to the massive demand for renewable and clean energy, in order to establish a halt to the usage of fossil duels and other exhaustible raw materials. There is also a notable rising trend in certain niches such as a circular and sharing economy, conscious consumption and green mobility.

The Netherlands is very densely populated in some regions like the Randstad, which covers the area with the four largest cities in the country. This calls for extra measures in order to lower the CO2 production rapidly, as the Dutch produce more CO2 than is allowed in the EU standard. Next to that, the country is also behind on the EU directed schedule of CO2 reduction. By initiating Smart City initiatives the Dutch hope to change this in a short amount of time, together with other incentives such as Utilities transformation, which pushed several tech innovations in order to clean the air as fast as possible. The Dutch government is actively seeking innovations and ideas to make this happen.

Extra information about clean technology

The Netherlands also has good positions, such as being the 2nd country in Europe with the highest amount of electric cars. The Dutch are now also experimenting with electric busses and logistic vehicles, in order to limit CO2 emission. Furthermore, the Dutch are avid buyers of electric bicycles, as driving a bicycle is deeply ingrained into Dutch society.  A Finnish company named Solnet is also exploring possibilities to partner up with Holland, to transform used energy into renewable energy.  If you happen to have interesting ideas on this subject, there is a large possibility you could contribute within the sector of clean technology.

Some interesting current trends in this sector

The Netherlands is working on a few hot topics within the clean technology industry, such as:

  • E-transport and transport sharing as well as remote working, in order to reduce the amount of daily traffic and traffic density
  • The re-usage of water and water management
  • Advanced filtering methods for the cleansing of water
  • Smart, clean and sustainable farming with a reduced amount of gas usage, since this will also substantially limit CO2 production
  • Infrastructural changes such as electric vehicles, charging stations and led-lighting that will be installed on Dutch roads
  • Interdisciplinary and crossover cooperation within Research and Development, with the ambition to become one of the most innovative forerunners within this field
  • Energy and cold/heat storage for communal heating, since there are limited resources to use in the country
  • Transformation of the gas-roundabout, which will be transformed into an energy hub by using ground-breaking knowledge about energy distribution

All these ideas also require stable financial solutions, to be able to provide clean tech adoption. This also entails the search for investors and entrepreneurs with ground-breaking knowledge, ideas and expertise. This also entails the transformation of current companies that heavily rely on industrial needs and resources, in order to create a more sustainable future. Since the government offers its full support in this case, the investments in clean technology have grown immensely in the Netherlands. This provides an ample amount of opportunities in the clean technology arena. Because the Dutch don’t just need investors; they are looking for knowledge in this area too. Thus, they are open to any kind of interesting collaboration within this sector.

Energy solutions in the Netherlands

Next to clean tech, green and sustainable energy has been very high on the Dutch government’s agenda. They have announced that the Netherlands want to transition from natural gas to only resources that are CO2 neutral by 2025. This is a decision that impacts almost every Dutch citizen, as a lot will need to be changed. More than 90% of all Dutch households are currently heated with natural gas, furthermore most companies also use gas in their production centers due to the low price of gas. The government has formulated this new policy in a new Energy Agreement and Energy Report. The main target is the swift and substantial reduction of CO2 emission.

If the impact of our current society on climate change is to be minimized, new solutions need to be found for long existing problems. Topics like CO2 reduction, energy neutral and climate neutral are now more important than ever before. Next to lowering the CO2 emission, the Dutch also want to reduce greenhouse gases to 0% by 2030. That is quite an ambitious goal, which requires collaboration and crossovers between sectors and nations to reach. The largest amount of energy consumption in the Netherlands is due to generating heat, which is about 45% of the total amount. The Netherlands has natural gas resources, but in the past decades there have been issues with tremors and sinkholes in the northern part of the country, which reduced the production of gas significantly. On top of that, the natural resources will be exhausted in the near future, making it necessary to look for alternatives rapidly.

Some interesting current trends in this sector

The main topics in the energy sector include:

  • Renewable energy
  • Solar energy
  • Heat distribution
  • Storable energy and heat
  • Lowering the consumption of natural gas

The main reason for all these goals is sustainability. This started as a trend a few decades back, but now proves to be a necessary effort if we want to continue to live on this planet in a healthy way. It’s not just the Dutch government that is taking action; many corporations are taking the matter seriously and actively become involved in the process of improvement. These companies are also reliant on the generation of heat, so figuring out alternatives is in everyone’s best interest. Thus, thinking up ideas within the lines of environmental services and products is very welcome in the Netherlands. This has made the clean energy sector also a very profitable sector. Other subjects that the Dutch are currently working on include, amongst others:

  • The transition from central to decentralized sources of energy. This means coal power plants and gas production will be shut down eventually
  • Multiple renewable and decentralized energy sources are being researched, such as solar energy, wind, geothermal, biomass, energy storage and the tides
  • The reduction of all CO2 emission by 40% in 2030, and by 80-95% in 2050. This underlines the need for CO2-low energy sources and technologies
  • Some goals that are aimed specifically at the energy transition are renewable heat, energy savings, generation of clean electricity, biomass and the collection of CO2
  • There is an ‘Energy Top Sector’ which has offered more than 130 million euros in investments and funding annually, especially for research, development and projects focused on energy innovation
  • The Netherlands also works close with Finnish companies in fields such as renewable and clean energy

If you have innovative ideas in the clean tech or energy sector, or maybe both, then it might be a good idea for you to consider setting up a branch office in the Netherlands. There is a good chance that you can profit from diverse sources of funding, both governmental and private. Next to that, the Netherlands offers a very stable fiscal and economic climate, plus there is the added bonus of being an EU member state and having access to the European Single Market.

How can Intercompany Solutions assist you?

If you want to set up a company abroad and especially the Netherlands, you will need to go through an official procedure in order to get your company registered and up and running. Intercompany Solutions has many years of experience in the establishment of Dutch companies within every imaginable sector. We can also help you out with a wide array of other services, such as setting up a bank account, accountancy services and plenty of general information on running a business in the Netherlands. We have assisted companies in the clean tech and energy sector before, and can provide you with useful and practical information to support your entry in the Dutch market.

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