Gridmaster partnership develops method for future-proof investments in port of Rotterdam’s energy infrastructure

In December 2020 a consortium spanning the entire spectrum of the (Dutch) energy infrastructure market signed an agreement concerning the Gridmaster Port Industrial Cluster (HIC) Rotterdam project.

The consortium includes TenneT, Gasunie, Stedin, Province of South-Holland, Port of Rotterdam Authority, Municipality of Rotterdam, SmartPort, Siemens Nederland, TU Delft, Quintel Intelligence and TNO. Gridmaster aims to develop a new method for (being able to make) adequate, sound and above all future-proof investment decisions in the field of energy infrastructure in the port of Rotterdam. The project will take ten months to complete.

The energy transition is in full swing which brings along great uncertainties when it comes to the large investments needed in the infrastructure for sustainable energy. The energy infrastructure that is needed depends heavily on developments in the port and those in and around the energy system. As these are difficult to predict, it is difficult to come up with sound investment plans. Choices which are made now could, for example, lead to inadequate infrastructure or to investments that turn out to be unnecessary. The challenge is to arrive at so-called adaptive, robust investment plans that are future-proof.


It is also necessary to look at the various energy infrastructures in terms of cohesion. The Gridmaster method should lead to promising integrated investment plans for the energy infrastructure in the port of Rotterdam; for example natural gas, hydrogen and electricity. The method supports grid operators and stakeholders such as authorities and businesses in the port of Rotterdam. The consortium partners each contribute their own expertise to the method.

Simulation model for the port of Rotterdam

What makes the project unique is that an adaptive simulation model of the energy system of the port of Rotterdam is being developed with which the performance of investment plans for a large number of different (future) scenarios can be analyzed. This so-called stress testing provides insight into the future-proofing of an investment in, let’s say, ten or thirty years’ time.

Publicly available computer model

As part of the Gridmaster method, the integrated energy system for the coming decades (2020 – 2050) is converted into a computer model. All tools, models and results created within the project are made public. As the integrated energy system will be housed in a single digitized model, there are also many research opportunities regarding investments in other parts of the energy system, such as the national infrastructure. At that level, similar challenges arise with regard to investing against a background of high uncertainty.

Gridmaster visual
For information and communication purposes a visualisation of the Gridmaster Project has been made which can be accessed by clicking on the image below.

Report Gridmaster HIC Rotterdam

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Nikki op ten Berg