Energy and Sustainability

In the next ten years, the Netherlands wants to take major steps towards increasing the amount of renewable energy produced and the electrification of heat demand and mobility. This desire requires a complete and highly complex transformation of the energy system. The fossil, centralised energy system is changing into a decentralised system based on renewable energy. Algorithms and AI can make a significant difference in accelerating this transition and in achieving an efficient and sustainable energy system.

Regarding decisions about the energy transition, such as investments in infrastructure or the deployment of renewable sources, much depends on predictions, often based on limited data, and there are many different interests. New AI technology can support these kinds of investment and design questions by providing a better foundation for them, by taking multiple interests into account, and by better explaining the choices made and the related uncertainties. The development of the required technology offers a unique opportunity for the Netherlands to take the lead internationally and to export this technology.

Opportunities for a CO2-free energy system

There are also opportunities for AI to automate the operation of the energy system, to support energy services and to predict and automate maintenance. The opportunities and challenges for AI in this context have been mapped out in a position paper, ‘AI as an accelerator of energy transition, opportunities for a CO2-free energy system‘. This document is used as a guideline for follow-up steps and as a capstone for opportunities and challenges that we have not yet foreseen.


The use of AI also offers opportunities for other social issues related to sustainability to make a difference. For example, around health and care, education, agriculture and food, the technical industry, the built environment, security, peace and justice and climate. In a separate work stream, we will map out which opportunities relating to the deployment of AI and sustainability are important to tackle in the Netherlands.

Ambition of the working group

The goal of the Energy and Sustainability working group is to support the development of new AI solutions to challenges in the energy sector and around sustainability, and thus stimulate the Dutch economy. To this end, we bring together expertise in AI and in the relevant sectors and work together to tackle these challenges together. To achieve this:

  • Organise meetings where parties can get to know each other.
  • We facilitate finding parties, their possibilities and relevant results of previous projects (data, software).
  • We improve the preconditions for cooperation, among other things by contributing to the development of new subsidy programmes.
  • We develop training in the use of AI for professionals in the energy sector in close cooperation with the Human Capital working group.

More information

Want to know more about the plans of this working group? Please consult the position paper ‘AI as an accelerator of energy transition, opportunities for a CO2-free energy system‘, which was developed together with the working group’s participants. If you are interested in what is needed to make AI more sustainable, please also visit the website of LEAP, a platform to support the future generation of data centres with the aim of accelerating the transition to a sustainable digital infrastructure.

Are you interested in this topic and do you want to actively contribute? Become a participant of the NL AIC and benefit from the knowledge and network around Energy and Sustainability and other relevant AI themes.

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