Stad Eeklo, IVM, Veneco, Ecopower, REScoop
The source of inspiration for this project is the Danish island Samsø. The island managed to switch to 100% renewable and locally produced energy on a cooperative basis within 10 years. Heat grids had a large share in this realization.
In Eeklo there is an incineration plant in which most of the generated energy is lost. However, there is a great demand for heat not far from there. Currently, this is met by the local burning of fossil fuels. Capturing the lost residual heat and distributing it via a heat network is therefore an option to be explored. CORE carried out a technical and economic feasibility study in 2012 for this project. The outcome was promising. A summary of the study can be found here.
Meanwhile, Eeklo is taking the initiative to develop a heat network. The Veolia-Ecopower consortium has been chosen for the realization of the project. This creates a unique collaboration between the local government, private developer Veolia and civil cooperative Ecopower. Thanks to Ecopower's cooperative structure, all inhabitants of Eeklo can become co-owners of the heat network from which they purchase energy. This model ensures that the inhabitants of the city not only share in the profits, but also have a real say in governance.
Veolia and Ecopower have been working on the detailed study of the heat network since the beginning of 2018. More information about the project can be found here.
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