Nothing new under the sun at Energy Trade Fair Ecomobiel, or maybe a little bit?

Holland hosts many Trade Fairs and Ecomobiel is one of them.


The Yearly Energy Trade Fair in the Brabanthallen, Den Bosch.


Energy, of course; managing, generating, storing, loading, distributing, measuring, charging, installing, constructing, saving, developing or renewing energy.

What to see

Rows full of blue and black solar panels, heat pumps, electric scooters, boilers, heaters and (for an amateur) incomprehensible boxes with undoubtedly much AI-intelligence inside, but also new insulation and insulating building materials like foam.

What was missing

This year (in my personal opinion) no real innovations, breakthroughs, eye-openers, surprising perspectives, financing, methods to increase support and inspirational design, biogas, hydrogen, tidal energy or interesting gadgets. So it mostly concerned applied technology and not a look into the future or disruptive breakthroughs.

This Trade Fair is of course really meant for craftsmen and is very strongly focused on existing (state of the art) technology that advances slowly every year, every year a percentage more profit or efficiency; the ‘quiet progress’ let’s say. For a real spectacle, you have to visit Disneyland or talk to Elon Musk in private.

Exceptional was perhaps a concept car of a student team from Delft University with a hydrogen car.
Perhaps the energy consultancy sector could become the fastest grower in this industry, because people get confused and the choice stress increases, so maybe a personal coach is needed to guide companies and individuals through the jungle of possibilities.

What did we learn as Subsidy Consultants? First of all many companies waver with subsidies, such as ISDE and EIA (which they usually submit for their own customers). I felt that there was a lot of focus on private homeowners and on electricity. One of the workshops (by Alklima) was about neighborhood-related Smart Grids, but in the end there appeared to be no practical solution and the ball lies with Housing corporations. A different trend is that in the coming 10 years many legal obligations will come, to speed up investments in energy transition. For example energy labels for office buildings in 2023 and a ban on placing gas boilers in homes from 2021.

Of course, there is plenty to do for us as De Breed & Partners: there are enough innovation schemes in the top sector of energy, in which developments on the aforementioned themes are supported for Smart Grids, Urban Energy, Demonstration Energy Innovation, Bio-Energy, etc.

So, after all, we got some energy out of Ecomobiel and we consider attending again next year.


Picture: Hydrogen concept race car by Delft University and Shell.

This blog was written by DBi-member Raf Grubben of De Breed & Partners

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