ENERGYNEST: Thermal storage for a sustainable industrial future in the Benelux

Carlijn Lahaye: Managing Director of ENERGYNEST BV in the Netherlands

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Reflecting on the first year

Just over a year ago, Carlijn Lahaye started as Managing Director of ENERGYNEST Netherlands. Since then, the company has made significant progress. “When I started, many parties in the Netherlands didn’t know what high-temperature thermal storage was, and only insiders were familiar with ENERGYNEST. Now, we receive many calls from interested industries in the Netherlands and Belgium,” she proudly states.  

Motivation: A sustainable future with ENERGYNEST

With a broad background in energy and waste management, joining ENERGYNEST was a logical step for Carlijn. “We need to transition the entire energy system to renewable fuels. This is essential for a future with lower CO2 emissions, reduced energy costs, and a stable energy supply. This will benefit not only the industry but also our society as a whole. When you look at the total energy consumption, 20% of energy consumed is process heat in the industry. Decarbonising industrial heat is essential for the green shift. High-temperature heat storage is one of the enabling technologies to achieve this,” she explains.

 

When first introduced to ENERGYNEST, she was immediately convinced by the robust and proven technology, the talented people, and the fact that the ThermalBattery™ was already in operation on an industrial scale. She calls it “the perfect technology to facilitate Dutch and Belgium industry to become more sustainable.” Her motivation comes from her desire to contribute to a greener and better world.

Heat storage: crucial for energy transition and grid stability

There are significant opportunities in the Benelux market, driven by European legislation that requires companies to produce carbon-free within 15 years. Heat storage is considered a cost-effective way to contribute to these objectives. “Moreover, heat storage can play an important role in solving short-term problems, such as grid congestion,” she adds. “Grid congestion occurs when the demand for electricity peaks temporarily, and the network struggles to meet that demand. Or vice versa, when supply of electricity peaks and demand is lagging. More and more sun and wind powered electricity will be added to the grid, thus more and more flexibility and storage are required. With heat storage, we can store energy at times that there is a surplus of electricity, for example from wind and solar parks, and make it available when demand is high or supply is low. This not only optimises the utilisation of renewable energy but also stabilises the electricity grid, leading to a more stable and sustainable energy system.”

 

The landscape of heat storage is changing rapidly, with many new companies entering the market. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of awareness of high-temperature heat storage. “Many people associate heat storage with water, which is efficient at low temperatures but not applicable for industrial processes at high temperatures,” she explains. She is committed to making high temperature heat technology better known. “People can only consider you if they know you exist. So, gaining that recognition through attending conferences, giving presentations, and writing articles is a must.”

Differentiation through flexibility and custom solutions

ENERGYNEST distinguishes itself through its customer-oriented approach and custom solutions. “We don’t simply say ‘this is our product, just buy it.’ We work closely with the customer to find the best integration and smart solutions tailored to their specific needs. Our engineers think along with the customer and adapt our technology to the specific situation. Our customers share their appreciation for our approach,” Lahaye explains. “This flexibility and custom solutions are what truly set us apart in the market.”

The impact of the outline agreement and the European elections

When asked about her view on the new outline agreement, Lahaye sees mainly opportunities. “We are pleased that there is attention to continuing the energy transition and promoting energy independence and supply security. Energy storage will play a key role in realising a stable, affordable, and independent energy system,” she explains. She looks forward to working with the new cabinet to seize these opportunities.

In addition to national politics, European legislation also plays a crucial role in ENERGYNEST’s plans. Reflecting on the recent European elections, she is interested in their potential influence on environmental legislation. “Climate legislation is European legislation. This offers a certain level of security and continuity, as a national government cannot easily deviate from it. Heat storage is a cost-effective way to contribute to sustainability,” she says. “Additionally, our technology is produced in Europe and doesn’t need rare earth metals.”

Future vision

With a growing number of projects and increasing recognition, Lahaye sees a promising future for ENERGYNEST. She is convinced that heat storage will become part of industrial processes. “Decarbonisation of industry will continue, and heat storage is part of that,” she says. She concludes: “I am optimistic about the future. We have the technology, the people, and the dedication to make an impact.”

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