HoCoSto wants to renovate neighborhoods and make them more sustainable | Brabant Brand Box

Brabant goes for green

More and more companies and individuals in Brabant are focusing on sustainability. Brabant aims to be energy-neutral by 2050.

Available stories in sector Sustainable Energy:

Brabant's ambition is to be energy-neutral by 2050. The region is energetic and dynamic, so it also requires large amounts of energy. And that energy comes increasingly from sustainable sources. Because Brabant looks ahead, and if you look ahead, you have to think green.

More and more companies and individuals in Brabant are initiating large and small projects to save energy or make the energy supply more sustainable. Such as René Geerts from HoCoSto in Achtmaal, who has developed a totally new, ingenious underground heat storage system that will soon make it possible to disconnect entire districts from the main gas grid. He built the prototype in his own backyard because he was unable to find a design consultancy that wanted to work with him on this project. A fine example of the resoluteness that typifies Brabant.

Brabant's powers of innovation

The fact that projects like René Geerts’ initiative are successful speaks volumes of the passion, creativity and powers of innovation with which producers and inventors in Brabant overcome challenges. It also speaks volumes of the environment that sparks the concept and nurtures these plans. New ideas are encouraged and given space. Communities, companies, government agencies and knowledge institutes collaborate to achieve a common goal: a clean and green Brabant.

Linking technological and social innovation

The Brabantse Milieufederatie (Brabant Environmental Federation), the regional branch of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) and the five major cities in Brabant all signed an energy covenant (Brabants Energieakkoord) in 2015. The agricultural and horticultural organisations and universities and colleges in Brabant also participated. Writing on behalf of the Social and Economic Council (SER), Ed Nijpels described these agreements as a decisive step in connecting world-leading technology in Brabant with the energy-consuming community. In other words, linking technological innovation to social innovation. “Because this is exactly the recipe required for leveraging speed of development.”

HoCoSto wants to renovate neighborhoods and make them more sustainable | Brabant Brand Box
Photo: Peter van Trijen

Communities, companies, government agencies and knowledge institutes collaborate to make Brabant clean and green

100,000 electric cars

Brabant already leads the way in green mobility. Many electric cars, commercial vehicles and buses drive cleanly and almost silently on the roads of Brabant; the electric fleet is expected to reach 100,000 vehicles by 2020. And companies in Brabant are developing and testing smart charging stations.

Solar-powered family car

The first solar-powered family car saw the light of day in Brabant. Designed by Lightyear, a start-up founded by students at Eindhoven University of Technology. While still studying at TU/e, they participated in the Solar Challenge in Australia, the Formula 1 of the solar-powered car world. Not with a typical racing car though: their weapon of choice was a comfortable car that can seat four people. Co-founder Martijn Lammers: “We wanted to show people that it really is possible: building a car that can drive anywhere in the world with nothing more than the sun as its power source, and which is also perfectly practical at the same time.”

Stella Lightyear, Lightyear 1
Photo: Stella Lightyear

Ambitious ‘intermediate target’ in the Energy Agenda 2030 The Provincial Authority is convinced that innovative and collaborative Brabant is the region that brings the best cards to the table for a successful energy transition. The Authority's strategic plan, the Energy Agenda 2030, focuses firmly on sustainability and reducing the consumption of energy. And sets an ambitious ‘intermediate target’: a 50% reduction in CO2 and 50% renewable energy by 2030. The Provincial Authority focuses on five themes: electricity, industry, the built environment, mobility and agriculture. The associated funding and initiatives are primarily designed to encourage ‘frontrunners’ and create smart combinations.

One of those frontrunners is Solliance Solar Research, a research organisation based at the high tech campus in Eindhoven. Solliance is part of a network of companies and knowledge institutes all over the world that are actively involved in developing and producing thin-film solar panels. Its work is a significant contribution to global research into the solar technology of the future.

Smart combinations

Using residual heat flows from industry and greenhouse horticulture to heat residential neighbourhoods, using electric cars as a mobile battery: these are just two examples of the smart combinations that Brabant is deploying to change the future. Ambitious Brabant is turning fiction into fact, developing pioneering innovations that will reshape the energy sector, with overwhelming support from businesses and individuals in Brabant.

This is where you can find information and stories about:

Dens uses hydrozine as an energy carrier | Brabant Brand Box
Photo: Peter van Trijen

These two innovators are in a hurry

As young entrepreneurs, Max Aerts and Tijn Swinkels are still far from achieving their life's work: accelerating the transition to sustainable energy usage through the use of hydrozine. The point is: time is short: the world urgently needs their clean technology.

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PowerNEST: innovative power generation system

“I was sworn to complete silence to avoid jeopardising the patent application; I couldn’t even tell my own mother.”

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The underground buffer from HoCoSto in Achtmaal stores heat in the summer that you can use in the winter.
Photo: Peter van Trijen

Energy-neutral homes thanks to HoCoSto's underground heat storage system

“If I don't do something productive, all my ideas will drive me crazy.” So, after selling his successful LED technology company, René Geerts finally decided to commercialise an idea that had tantalised him for more than ten years: underground heat storage.

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The ‘ambitious misfits’ at Ecotap conquer Europe

Why on earth would an ambitious manufacturer of charging stations employ people with a disability? As part of a grand plan to conquer the world of course! The highly diverse team at Ecotap has achieved a leading position in Europe in just a few years.

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Maatschappelijke betrokkenheid bij Ecotap in Boxtel
Photo: Fotoburo Bolsius
Hermes, foto Peter van Trijen voor Brabant Brand Box.
Photo: Peter van Trijen

The largest electric fleet of buses in Europe operates in...

...Eindhoven! Read all about this unique collaboration between Hermes and VDL. 

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Lightyear: a solar-powered family car

Post-its on the walls, desks covered with schematics and drawings. About thirty young people are putting the finishing touches to the consumer version of the world’s first family car to run entirely on solar power.

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Stella Lightyear, Lightyear 1
Photo: Stella Lightyear

Brenna's favourites

Groasis Growboxx makes trees grow in desert, Brabant Brand Box

Groasis: planting trees in the desert

Bringing prosperity to poor, dry countries. Reducing CO₂ emissions and solving the water problem. Pieter Hoff, from Groasis, does this with his ‘intelligent’ bucket, a novel capillary water transport system. “We grow trees in areas where everybody has failed in the past.”

Maatschappelijke betrokkenheid bij Ecotap in Boxtel

World-leading innovation in Boxtel: solar-powered charging stations

Ecotap, based in Boxtel in North Brabant, has embarked on a conquest to convert the world to solar-powered charging stations. Supported by dozens of employees with a disability. Social involvement goes hand-in-hand with excellent results. What is Ecotap's secret? 

Hermes Brabant, foto Peter van Trijen voor Brabant Brand Box

The largest electric bus fleet in Europe operates in Brabant

The largest electric fleet of buses in Europe operates in Eindhoven. Read all about this unique collaboration between Hermes and VDL.

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