More information on Smart Energy Systems

Subsidy scheme available to accelerate innovations on Smart Energy Systems

In order to realize the goals of the Rotterdam Climate Agreement and the Roadmap Next Economy, the municipality of Rotterdam aims to accelerate the rollout and upscaling of the commercial applications of Smart Energy Systems (SES). The seventh round to apply for this subsidy is currently open. Applicants can apply for a grant from March 20 up to and including May 15, 2024.

A new, robust, sustainable, and flexible energy system is of the utmost importance for the city of Rotterdam. Realizing such a system calls for intelligent networks for the decentralized generating of energy, as well as various digital services and business models to facilitate the decentralized transport and use of energy. Consider, for example, smart initiatives that finetune the balance between supply and demand, initiatives for the temporary storage of energy, or initiatives that prevent congestion.

More flexible, more efficient, and cheaper

The new generation of ‘smart energy systems’ connects the supply and demand of energy in a way that is more flexible, more efficient, and cheaper. Due to new and innovative revenue models, countless new possibilities arise.

This includes the possibility for businesses to invest in solar panels on the rooftops of offices or housing corporations. Moreover, new trade platforms can arise in which businesses and residents sell their unused energy to local buyers.

Initiatives to set up energy cooperation between residents also fit within the concept of smart energy systems. The same goes for innovations that make the use of energy in the port more sustainable (such as for example the use of green hydrogen).


Making investment decisions for this type of innovation is difficult when there is little certainty in advance about the possibility of an innovation being upscaled to a commercially appealing proposition.

The subsidy is meant for feasibility studies and the experimental development of innovations regarding energy systems. A combination of experimental development and feasibility studies is also an option. Moreover, the subsidy can support businesses in Rotterdam to further develop their innovation and business case towards a possible next investment round directed towards upscaling the innovation.

About the program

The scope of the program is broad. Innovations can be directed towards industry, the commercial sector, households, or related sectors such as transport. There is no preference for specific technological methods. A demonstration of a solution, system integration, or familiarizing possible users with new systems, are all examples of innovations that could be eligible for the program. The subsidy is for all initiatives. The program is hoping for additional applications in the areas of energy savings, grid congestion, and hydrogen.


The program in particular makes room for social innovation and initiatives that stimulate participation. It pays special attention to the relation with Rotterdam, the scope, and the scalability or repeatability of the innovation. 

The municipality of Rotterdam appoints the subsidy based on the societal impact, feasibility, and financial parameters. If needed, the program offers technical, financial, and organizational support.