Energy reduction for industrial businesses

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
3 min read

Do you run a business that involves industrial processes, such as manufacturing? There is a growing number of ways in which industrial businesses can reduce their energy consumption, and so, their production costs. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency offers objective information about the energy savings possibilities for several sectors. Find out if this information also benefits you.

The Climate Agreement and the Industrietafel

In 2019, the Dutch government drew up the National Climate Agreement, outlining the ways in which the Dutch society will move towards sustainable energy. This involves many sectors, amongst which the industrial sector. To reach the goals agreed upon in the Climate Agreement, the industry sector and other organisations set up a board, the so-called ‘Sector Industrietafel’. They contribute to changes to achieve the 2030 climate targets in the industrial sector. The Industrietafel has identified four main focus areas for the coming years: process efficiency and heat use, electrification and the circular use of raw materials.


Click here for the complete climate agreement in English. On page 40 you will find a table with important technologies for industry. Or take a look at the proposal of the main points of the Climate Agreement – Industry (in Dutch). You can also read more about the industrial efforts towards climate change on the website of the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT).

Energy-saving obligation

Many companies and institutions are required to take energy-saving measures. They must also report the measures they have taken. These regulations are set out in. the environmental management Activities Decree (Activiteitenbesluit milieubeheer).

CCS and CCU as interim solutions

To reach the climate agreement goals, several steps need to be taken. In the meantime, a start can be made by introducing interim solutions, such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). There is also a run-up to the reuse of carbon in the circular economy (Carbon Capture and Usage - CCU). With the help of innovations and pilots, investments are made in technologies such as green hydrogen, CCU, biorefinery and heat pumps. These technologies will play an important role after 2030.


There are dozens of ways to save energy on cooling and freezing. Which measures yield the most depends on your energy consumption and the amount of products you cool. Read more about cooling and a handy calculation tool for saving energy (RVO website, in Dutch).

Steam in transition

Steam is a very widely used heat carrier in industry, which in most cases is still produced with a natural gas-fired steam boiler. This method of heat production must undergo a major change. See how the industrial user of steam can respond to the necessary changes (in Dutch).

Compressed air

Almost all industrial companies use compressed air. This costs an average of 2 cents per m3 of generated compressed air. Compressed air can be a significant part of your energy bill. In addition, about 90% of the energy is lost as residual heat. So it is worthwhile to use compressed air sparingly and to use the residual heat efficiently for your company. Find out more about compressed air and see what you can do (in Dutch).

Separation technology

There are many technologies for separating substances. Separation can be performed on the basis of substance properties and state of aggregation. Better separation technologies lead to higher product quality and major savings in energy and raw material consumption. Want to know more about separation technology? See what you can do (in Dutch).

Technical insulation

Often, you can save more energy than you think by insulating process pipes and process installations. Find out what you can do (in Dutch).

Efficient drive systems

Drive systems determine approximately 70% of the electricity consumption of Dutch industry. Current technology makes it possible to achieve profitable energy savings of as much as 20 to 30%. See what you can do (in Dutch).

Industrial heat pumps

With a heat pump you save energy and costs. You use the heat pump to utilise the residual heat from your production process, a neighbouring company, neighbouring heat network or geothermal source. Read more about industrial heat pumps (in Dutch).

Electrification of industry

Electrification of processes is an energy-reducing option for industrial companies. The last years have already seen the successful development of electric drives, measuring and control equipment. The next step in electrification focuses on product formation and meeting the heat demand. Electrification reduces fossil CO2 emissions. This is mainly due to the increased sustainability of electricity production, which uses wind turbines and solar panels. In addition, industrial companies can become more efficient, for example by using compression heat pumps. There are also advantages to be had by increasing the controllability of processes. Read more about the electrification of industry (in Dutch).


The Dutch government offers a number of different subsidies to support businesses in reducing their energy consumption and making the transition to sustainable energy sources. There are also EU subsidies availabe as well as municipal support. Check available subsidies.

More information

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency also has information and advice in English on renewable energy and climate change for businesses.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO