Energy in figures

Twence is the largest renewable energy producer in the Province of Overijssel. The renewable energy we generate from residual streams and biomass is a source of regional energy-intensive activity involving smart cooling and heating and a source of heat and light for many thousands of households in Twente.

In our biomass energy plant, energy from waste plant, anaerobic digesters and through the extraction of gas from landfills, we produce renewable energy in the form of steam, heat and electricity. Thousands of households and many businesses benefit from this. Converted into households, this involves the electricity for a good 147,000 households, heat for more than 48,000 households, annual saving of natural gas consumption of 178 million m3 and annual avoidance of CO2 emissions of 323,000 tonnes due to the reduced use of fossil fuels. These figures will increase further in the coming years due to smart investments in improved efficiency and the addition of new sources such as the sun.

We deliver to businesses and to the public grid. For our customers, the use of our energy not only means increased sustainability, but often also savings. The various possibilities we have for generating energy mean that Twence is a highly reliable source of electricity, steam and heat.

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We have been supplying electricity to the public grid since 1996 when the energy from waste plant was commissioned. This involves around 487 GWh electricity, of which 346 GWh is designated as renewable. That is enough electricity to power 164,000 households. Investments in raising the efficiency of our biomass energy plant and in solar parks will increase the power even further from 2017.


The walls of the incinerator boilers of the energy from waste plant and the biomass energy plant contain a network of pipes filled with water. That water becomes so hot that it turns into steam. This steam can be used directly for industrial applications.

Twence has been supplying steam to ‘neighbour’ AkzoNobel in Hengelo since 1 January 2011. Thanks to our three production lines we can offer excellent security of supply. This made it possible for AkzoNobel to ‘mothball’ its own gas-fired energy supply in 2013.

AkzoNobel saves 70 to 80 million m3 natural gas every year by using steam from Twence for its production process. In Hengelo, the company evaporates brine to produce salt. This process requires a great deal of heat, in the form of steam. We supply that steam via a 2.5 km insulated pipeline laid between the energy source of Twence and the salt factory. AkzoNobel supplies the residual heat to the district heating network of Hengelo.

From 2018, Twence will also supply 100% green steam and heat from the biomass energy plant. It will also be available to other businesses in the area or companies which want to become more sustainable and want to set up close to Twence.

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The heat from the Twence energy from waste plant heats around 5,500 households and more than 180 businesses and institutions in Enschede, including the University of Twente and the FC Twente stadium. An underground pipeline for this purpose was laid in 2010. Since 2011 we have been using it to supply hot water to the combined heat and power plant of Ennatuurlijk located at Marssteden.

At the end of 2016 Twence and Ennatuurlijk signed an agreement for the supply of more sustainable heat to the district heating network in Enschede. This will be an expansion of existing activities. In due course, sustainable heat can be supplied to an extra 20,000 households and businesses.

The district heating network in Enschede recently earned Ennatuurlijk second place in the sustainability top 3 of district heating networks in the Netherlands. The score is calculated on the basis of the equivalent generation efficiency (supplied heat versus use of fossil fuels). The high score is due to the local collaboration with Twence. The sustainable heat from Twence is an excellent source of heat for natural gas-free homes.

Currently all the heat still comes from our energy from waste plant. From 2018 this heat will come primarily from the biomass power plant, which is being retrofitted in 2017. This will make the supplied heat 100% green. The heat will also be made available to other networks and businesses.

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History and future

The construction of the biomass power plant (2008) was an initial step in our ambition to recover more energy from renewable resources. In 2009, the third line of our energy from waste plant went into operation. Approximately half of this energy production of the energy from waste plant is renewable (54% in 2016). An anaerobic digestion plant for organic waste followed (2011), and Twence also started supplying heat to Ennatuurlijk’s district heating network in Enschede and steam to AkzoNobel. They were able to switch off their own gas-fired energy supplies in 2014 and 2013 respectively. We commissioned a second anaerobic digester in 2014. From 2017 onwards we deliver solar energy. Currently we are working on the construction of more solar parks and the use of heat and steam from the biomass power plant.


The Dutch government wants the percentage of the energy which we consume from renewable energy to increase further: from approximately 5% now, to 14% in 2020 and 16% in 2023. The energy supply must be fully renewable in 2050. These objectives have been taken over by provinces and municipalities in their own policy objectives.

Twence wants to realise half of this (7% of the 14% goal) for the shareholding municipalities. Six percent will already be achieved in 2018 when the biomass energy plant also starts supplying heat. The production of solar energy will also help us continue to grow in this objective. Twence is already one of the largest producers of renewable energy in the Netherlands.

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