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Infrastructural and policy challenges with achieving fossil fuels free energy supply: the case of the City of Leeuwarden

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The city council of Leeuwarden has an ambitious goal - to make the city's overall energy supply fully independent from fossil fuels by the year 2020. All energy required by the city should be derived either from sun, wind, geothermal sources and/or locally produced 'green' gas. To achieve this goal the city has initiated the programme 'Slim with Water and Energy', focusing on four themes: energy usage of buildings, solar generation, 'green' gas and heat generation, and clean mobility. This programme is not only contributing to the fossil fuel free energy supply but is generating new economic opportunities for more than 50 companies involved. This article, presented as a case study, will describe the programme, its results so far, and some challenges for the future. This will include the questions of design for sustainable infrastructures, policy and governance issues, and cooperation with knowledge institutions regarding technological advances in infrastructures.

Keywords: policy challenges, fossil fuel free, sustainable energy supply, solar energy, solar power, green gas, clean mobility, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, case study, sustainable infrastructures, critical infrastructures, green energy, sustainability, sustainable development, governance, renewable energy

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