Marc schot

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'Rapid change requires the courage to make choices'

Marc Schot is a sustainable energy and infrastructure consultant. He wants to help the energy transition move forward – to ensure it ultimately succeeds. To stay fresh, on Fridays he works on developing the most sustainable beer brewery in the Netherlands.

Giant library

‘I did a master’s in energy system optimisation and then, before joining Witteveen+Bos, worked at Liander for five years. It was a good place to learn more about the electricity grid. Transport scarcity is a big challenge right now – the grid is full. After an instructive period, I felt the need to work somewhere where I could contribute to solutions. That’s how I ended up at Witteveen+Bos. As a sustainable energy and infrastructure consultant, I form the bridge between my more technically-minded colleagues and our clients. Sometimes I feel like I work in a giant library and can draw from an infinite source of in-depth knowledge. Here, I can really contribute to the energy transition.’

Making choices

‘For the energy transition to succeed, it’s important that we move forward and continue making progress. My role is to ensure plans are concrete and feasible. Being ambitious is great – and necessary – but looking too far into the future can be paralysing. Rapid change requires the courage to make choices. If we go on endlessly calculating and weighing up options, we’ll never meet our targets. Last year, I worked on making a tunnel more sustainable. We looked at all possible energy saving opportunities, power generation scenarios and battery storage options. The analysis was then translated into concrete contract requirements for the tunnel’s renovation.’

Boeren Brouwers

‘I wanted to learn more about electrical engineering, so I converted an old Sparta moped to make it electric. Having it inspected is rather expensive, though, so I can’t ride it on the road. Fortunately, there’s plenty of space on my parents’ farm. I’m there every Friday anyway: I run a brewery, Boeren Brouwers, there with my little brother. In a few years’ time, we’ve grown to now produce two thousand litres a month. That’s about six thousand bottles. Our ambition is to be the most sustainable brewery in the Netherlands, with beer made exclusively from ingredients produced in-house. We grow our own barley and now have two hop plantations with all kinds of exotic hops. The energy we need comes from the roof, which is filled with solar panels. In my opinion, Oogstfeest is our most successful beer so far – a New England Indian Pale Ale.’

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