Energy and Innovation

The effects of climate change are forcing us to save energy and switch to sustainable energy sources. The research group Energy and Innovation researches and designs technological interventions that accelerate the energy transition.

The UN stipulated, in the 2015 Paris Agreement, that warming should be limited to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius. Achieving this target needs a reduction in emissions of 50% by 2030. Several countries have taken steps to reduce their CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, global warming continues and the critical limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius will be reached as early as 2030.

We all need to take more, and faster, steps in the energy transition. This requires an integrated approach and consistent policy, with clear frameworks that help regions, municipalities, companies, citizens and other parties to make considered and informed choices.

Technological interventions

The Energy and Innovation research group designs and researches technological interventions to accelerate the energy transition towards climate neutrality. Core themes are Positive Energy Districts (PEDs), electric transport (and the accompanying charging infrastructure), smart grids and the national transition away from gas as an energy source. Within these topics, feasibility studies are carried out on new technologies, and new designs are researched and tested. Consumer behaviour, for example with regard to the charging infrastructure, is also investigated. This results in science-based policy advice and guidelines for (integrated) design.

The professor

Renée Heller received her PhD – concerning hydrogen storage in thin metal layers – from Utrecht University, and has been AUAS Professor of Energy and Innovation since September 2020. She is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Milieu Centraal and active in the LEVE and Urban Energy Professor platforms.

“Major steps have already been made in the transition. But if we want to make even more progress, we need to move towards an integrated approach that aligns technologies and solutions”, says Heller.


The insights gained by the Energy and Innovation research group are reflected in the Minors Data Science and Energy Positive City, in the Master in Urban Technology, and in various courses within the Bachelors in Engineering, Built Environment and Applied Physics. Final-year students can join the Energy and Innovation research group for graduation projects and internships.


The Energy and Innovation research group works closely with companies and municipalities in its research. In addition, the research group participates in major (inter)national research programmes such as Atelier, Future Charging and SolarNL .

Published by  Centre for Applied Research Technology 23 November 2023

  dr. E.M.B. Heller (Renee)

Professor of Energy and Innovation & Head of Centre for Applied Research Technology

Tel: 0621157675
View profile