Twence and Cogas receive € 17 million subsidy for the regional heating network: Regionaal Warmtenet Twente (RWT)

Cogas and Twence are working to develop a heating network in the urban area of Twente. A subsidy from the central government is necessary to make the RWT possible. Fortunately, it was granted! A €17 million subsidy has been awarded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate for the first step of the RWT; gas-free heating of 2,800 households in Hengelo.

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Hengelo natural gas-free
All heat sources are necessary to make the region natural gas-free. Only solar and wind power will not suffice. One alternative to natural gas in the urban area is a heat network. The Wilderinkshoek neighbourhood is listed in Hengelo municipality's heat programme as the first neighbourhood to be offered an alternative to natural gas. For this purpose, the RWT is a promising option. The high-temperature heating network offers a sound, affordable and sustainable solution for older and poorly insulated homes. Of course, businesses may also join.

Financial contribution required
Establishing a heating network requires significant investments. Therefore, a subsidy is necessary to make the realisation of the project cost-effective. Twence and Cogas applied for the Warmtenetten Investeringssubsidie (heat networks investment subsidy) (WIS) in June. This is a new scheme, which the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) is implementing on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, in order to fast-track the construction of heat networks. This acceleration helps meet the government's climate goals of reducing the Netherlands' carbon emissions by 2030.

Step by step into the region
Gerald de Haan, managing director of Cogas: 'We are very pleased that the subsidy to build the heating network has been awarded. This is a major step for the further development of the RWT. With the key goal of providing homeowners of older and poorly insulated homes in urban areas with a sustainable and affordable future-proof energy supply at the lowest cost to society.'

Full speed ahead
'Through this wonderful positive development, we are working towards making the region more sustainable. Twence has heating available to take more than 100,000 households off gas', says Marc Kapteijn, general manager of Twence. 'Together with our shareholder municipalities, we would like to use this as efficiently as possible. The RWT is a promising option in this regard. As we work on the development of this step by step, we still have several preconditions to complete in order to make the actual construction a reality as well. Consider, for example, the choice of technology or the necessary steps in financial decision-making. We do all this in close cooperation with the relevant SBs and shareholders.'.

Subsidy enhances affordability for residents
The Hengelo City Council established their heat programme in April this year. The programme identifies logical alternatives to natural gas for each neighbourhood. This demonstrates that a heating network is a suitable alternative for a vast part of Hengelo. 'We are delighted by the granting of this subsidy. This enhances affordability for our residents. As a result, a heating network becomes an interesting option for many residents', says Remko Cremers, Project leader of Hengelo's heat programme. In addition, this will also accelerate the construction of the heating network in Twente. A wonderful opportunity for the region and residents to be connected to this alternative to natural gas.

Significance for the region
The granting of this subsidy marks an important step for Twente in the energy transition. The municipalities of Borne, Enschede and Hengelo, together with Twence and Cogas, are exploring the possibilities of a regional heat network. Alderman Diepemaat (Municipality of Enschede): 'We are pleased with this decision. A regional heating network could provide a major boost to making Twente's energy consumption more sustainable. That is also why we actively supported the application for the WIS together with Hengelo, Borne and the Province.' Bert Schipper of housing association Welbions, with properties in Hengelo and Borne, agrees: 'Especially for older homes, which are often poorly insulated, this high-temperature heating network is a promising option. This will help us make part of our housing stock more sustainable. It is important, however, that it meets a number of conditions, such as affordability and reliability.'