A brief look back on summit ‘Energy in Transition’

Yesterday, the Port of Rotterdam Authority hosted the ‘Energy in Transition’ summit on board the SS Rotterdam. The programme included the presentation of the Wuppertal Report, which outlines various pathways along which the port industry can already make work of the energy transition. Attendees were invited to not only think about the challenges that lie ahead, but above all about the opportunities that this transition presents. A brief look back on the day.

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, explained that in response to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Port Authority decided to make a thorough study of whether – and if so, how – the required dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions could be achieved in the port of Rotterdam.

The report

The Wuppertal Report, which was presented yesterday by Nico van Dooren and Caroline Kroes, describes the four transition pathways that Rotterdam’s industrial sector can follow to reduce its CO2 emissions. This will enable the sector to achieve the adopted climate targets while simultaneously continuing to make products for which there is a strong public demand like fuels and chemical products. Occo Roelofsen of McKinsey & Company added: “The main advantage offered by the Netherlands: we are all concentrated in a relatively small area. We can surely take advantage of this situation in some way.”

Getting straight to work

A number of parties proudly demonstrated to the media that the energy transition is actually already underway. To encourage new initiatives and alliances, three new partnership platforms were announced shortly before the summit, which focus on the optimal utilisation of residual heat from industry and biofuels.


“We need to do this together.” This is the clear conclusion reached during a series of workshops, during which participants were asked to think about how we can best accelerate the energy transition. But: “No pain, no gain: we shouldn’t be afraid of taking risks during the present transition,” according to Stijn Effting, who led the workshop Biobased: Growing Energy.

The companies could immediately set to work on making plans that related to a variety of themes, including the circular economy, alternative fuels and energy efficiency. Ten years ago, companies were also making plans, according to Maike Akkers, who led the workshop Power to the Port. The main difference being that these were isolated efforts. “Now parties are ready to take the plunge – together.”

Randolf Weterings, who led the workshop Capture the Opportunity, also had some positive results to share: “In the near future, we could start implementing CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) in the chemical industry. In addition, we can take associated tasks off individual companies’ hands, while simultaneously creating a network that steps up the adoption of CCS solutions.”

Energy in transition

The Port of Rotterdam Authority is committed to combating climate change and wants to play a leading role in the global energy transition. The reduction of CO₂ emissions and efficient use of raw and residual materials are important tasks for the Port Authority.

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