Stronghouse - News Nuggets from Drenthe

21 February 2022 - Published by Deirdre Buist
The Province of Drenthe, Stronghouse Lead Beneficiary, is working closely with an extensive network of parties and stakeholders, including other partners in Drenthe from the Municipalities of Noordenveld and Hoogeveen and the NMFD (environmental NGO) to accelerate the energy transition. We’ve curated a few news nuggets from the region.

Popular Collectives subsidy

Under the programme ‘Energy Expedition Drenthe’  and Expeditie Energieneutral Wonen (towards energy passive homes), homeowners setting up a local neighbourhood energy initiative and existing energy cooperatives can profit from the Collective Energy Initiatives subsidy. However, funding is running out faster than anticipated.  Since this subsidy became available on 1st January 2021, some 37 successful applications have received almost 273,000 euro, signaling a great result for collective energy transition projects in the province. Currently new budget is being sought so that the scheme can run to the original closing date of 31st December 2030.

Shortage of technical professionals

As the transition speeds up  significantly in the region, partially driven by the current energy crisis and the real threat of energy poverty, the huge shortage of qualified technicians is increasingly evident here too. A recently published Dutch report on 'Klimaatbanen in de gebouwde omgeving' (climate-related jobs in the urban environment) provides an insight into which trained professionals are most needed to achieve our climate goals. The number of jobs for relevant technical professions in this sector has risen to almost 46,000 in the autumn of 2021. In answer to this shortage, concrete actions are currently being instigated in the form of campaigns and training courses.

Net congestion & storage

It’s the green energy conundrum. As first in the Netherlands, the energy transition in Drenthe stagnated due to  net congestion. The energy network cannot handle the power peaks from newly placed solar parks. However, on 11th February a so-called ‘vluchtstrook’ or side track  for the high voltage net was officially opened. This provides an alternative space to collect reserve capacity from sustainable energy projects to feed  into the power net. As highlighted in the national media, largescale storage is a real challenge. This is an inspiring intitiative for other regions, providing a short-term energy storage solution. Drenthe has  taken a lead with this first great step towards optimizing the current net capacity.


Tjisse Stelpstra, Executive Board Member for the Province of Drenthe, officially opens the energy ‘vluchtstrook’ under national media attention.

Photo: Harry Cock

Read the full  article in de Volkskrant (Dutch) newspaper here.: 



As part of the Stronghouse project, our partners from the NMFD work closely with the provincial government and the region’s 12 municipalities on the Drents EnergieLoket  (DEL). This digital information  and support platform is running a pilot on improved Data Driven Homeowner Engagement measures designed to enable more homeowners to retrofit their homes, thus increasing CO2 reductions and generating increased investment.

Annual results

In their annual report for 2021 – soon to be published – the DEL facts and figures are extremely encouraging. The RRE subsidy - a  scheme for the reduction of energy use - has been eagerly used by many new homeowners in the past year. Mainly as a result of two successful publicity campaigns (mostly online). The PR activities focused on a strong link between DEL and the implementation of the RRE subsidies, and on expanding a strong network.

Customer Relationship Management

The Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) has been further developed to deal with the high interest levels and the attractive new DEL website also contains all the relevant links, making it even easier for homeowners to find their way. Looking at the numbers, there has been quite a leap forward in the past year,  from 7,000 to almost 20,000 homeowners logging in to research their retrofit options. By December  more than 50,000 contact moments had been registered. The limitations as a result of the pandemic have significantly improved online visibility – social media channels are increasingly effective, particularly amongst the younger target group.

There is more 

There is a great deal happening in relation to the  energy transition and supporting homeowners all across the North Sea Region during their home-retrofit  journey. You can follow our efforts here, follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter and subscribe to the Stronghouse Newsletter.