21 Apr Grolsch will soon get two thirds of its heat from a sustainable source
Brewery Grolsch wants to get 72 percent of its heat from biomass by 2022. The company will soon receive hot water from biomass company Twence, which is located one and a half kilometers from the brewery. This saves Grolsch 5,500 tons of CO2 per year. Twence says it only produces biomass from residual products that otherwise have no use, such as construction waste.
The sustainable heat enters Grolsch in the form of warm water, produced at Twence. Grolsch uses the heat of the water to turn it into hot water in its own system using a heat exchanger. The brewer uses that hot water to clean bottles. As a result, Grolsch no longer needs natural gas to make the hot water in boilers. However, gas is still required to produce steam, which the brewer uses to cook the beer mixture. Also a little bit of natural gas is needed for packaging equipment.
Climate neutral by 2025
The switch to organic heating is a major one for Grolsch. The brewer aims to be climate neutral by 2025. Earlier, all the electricity that the company used already turned green. However, as with many companies, switching to a sustainable heat source is more complicated. “We are lucky to have Twence near us,” said Susan Ladrak, engineering manager at Grolsch. “It is a great regional collaboration.”
If Twence had not been there, Grolsch would have had to look at electric heating or a heat pump. Grolsch is now looking into whether such a heat pump can help with steam production. “But that is such a dynamic world that we do not yet know whether it will be the best solution.”
Heat from construction waste
The technical challenges of the project will be identified this year. Ladrak: “They are not so much at the brewery; that is not the complexity of the connection. But you also have to lay two and a half meters of pipeline between us and Twence, in an area where other things already lie. ” Construction should start in 2021, which will give Grolsch sustainable heat in 2022.
That heat comes from various sources. Twence says it generates these from non-reusable waste, biomass and the sun. It already produces electricity from biomass, but the Grolsch project will reduce that. “We are going to generate less electricity and more heat. That is also more efficient,” says the spokesperson for Twence. Grolsch’s heat does not come from solar energy. “Biomass is the best solution for high temperatures. It is not yet efficient to reach those temperatures with sun and wind,” said the spokesperson.
Not a waste
The fact that Grolsch will soon get all its electricity and a large part of the heat from sustainable sources does not mean that the company will use this energy lavishly. Ladrak: “We have been trying to reduce our energy consumption since 2005 and we have made great strides in that direction; we now use 30 percent less energy than in 2005. And we will continue to try to reduce our energy needs where possible. ”