Delft University of Technology: Consortium develops stress test for Port of Rotterdam energy transition investment plans: GridMaster

What is the future of the market for natural gas, hydrogen and electricity? And directly related to this: what investments need to be made now to ensure that in the near future the Port of Rotterdam has the necessary infrastructure to respond to this transition as effectively as possible? Within the GridMaster HIC Rotterdam Project, a large consortium is working on an adaptive simulation model of the port energy system, which can be used to analyse investment plans for large numbers of varying scenarios. This ‘stress testing’ provides insight into how future-proof an investment is over, for example, ten or thirty years.

Consortium
The consortium, which covers the full energy infrastructure market, recently signed the agreement for the GridMaster project. The consortium comprises TenneT, Gasunie, Stedin, the Province of Zuid-Holland, the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the City of Rotterdam, SmartPort, Siemens Nederland, TU Delft, Quintel Intelligence and TNO, and the project will run for ten months.

Energy transition
The energy transition is rapidly developing and will lead to the necessary changes to infrastructure in the Port of Rotterdam, which is dependent on the anticipated future contribution from – for example – natural gas, hydrogen and electricity. What energy infrastructure is required is also strongly dependent on developments in the port itself. Such developments are hard to predict, making it difficult to put together solid investment plans. Choices made now may, for instance, lead to insufficient infrastructure or to unnecessary investments. The challenge is to come up with adaptive and robust investment plans that are future-proof.

Cohesion
Besides this, it is important to consider the various energy infrastructures as a whole. The GridMaster method is intended to lead to promising, integrated investment plans for the energy infrastructure in the Port of Rotterdam, for example involving natural gas, hydrogen and electricity. The method supports network managers and stakeholders such as government bodies and businesses in the Port of Rotterdam, with each of the consortium partners contributing their own expertise to the method.

Port of Rotterdam simulation model
What makes this project unique is that an adaptive simulation model of the Port of Rotterdam energy system is being developed which can be used to analyse the performance of investment plans for large numbers of different scenarios. This ‘stress testing’ provides insight into how future-proof an investment is over, for example, ten or thirty years.

Public computer model
In the GridMaster method, the integrated energy system for the coming decades (2020–2050) is converted into a computer model. All the instruments, models and results created within the context of the project will be made public. Because the integrated energy system is presented as a single digitised model, it also offers many opportunities for research into investments in other parts of the energy system, such as the national infrastructure, which faces similar challenges concerning investments involving great uncertainty.

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