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Energy as design expertise

Robbert Smit | Knowledge | 5 minute read
Energy is hot, appeals to the imagination, and touches us all. It’s a topic regularly in the headlines and demands explanation, discussion and involvement. At Today, we’re happy to have many clients who have turned energy into one of our areas of (design) expertise.

From the sensitive gas issue to the Green Deal

Our own ‘energy transition’ began with communications for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate for the Groningen Gas Inquiry. A sensitive issue where we had to translate the policy, current status and possibilities for reducing gas extraction into understandable information for local residents. We did this through clear project communication, including infographics and explanatory animations. It wasn’t always easy. Our animations were copied mischievously by Groningen activist groups and provided with alternative voice-overs. Although we were taken by surprise, it ended up making a major contribution to the goal of conducting dialogue about gas extraction with the people of Groningen. Around the same time, the Ministry launched the Green Deal, an interactive working method enabling the government to create space for innovative, sustainable initiatives in society. Today gave a face to this approach and provided, clear, straightforward information for a wide audience.

Booming thanks to Kuipers and Lubach

The energy transition grew slowly into a ‘hot topic’. Or at least, a major topic that no one in the Netherlands could ignore. In 2016, the energy transition got a dedicated B2B project website. We too worked on the Energy Report and provided essential animations and infographics about the transition from fossil sources to sustainable alternatives. We recruited André Kuipers as a figurehead for the transition and caught the attention of Arjen Lubach (watch the broadcast here), on the news and across the internet. Energy was ‘booming’.

Award-winning energy project

There was lots more to say, design and think about this important theme. We developed an app for checking your solar panels in real time, seeing the proceeds and investing them in new crowdfunding campaigns for solar panels. Zonnepanelendelen (Solar panel sharing), as the initiative was called, was a huge success. It is now the Netherlands’ largest crowdfunding platform for solar panels (84 projects and 400,000 panels). The platform and the design won a Reddot Award and an Entrepreneurs Award at the United Nations Climate Summit.

Today is also behind the Consumentenbond’s independent energy manager app ‘Huisbaasje’ and the logo for CO2-emissions reduction presented by the cabinet at the Climate Agreement last year.

National supplier in energy

At the moment, our design hearts are captivated by hydrogen energy, as we learn all about it for a vision document for Gasunie: The Netherlands as ‘Europe’s hydrogen roundabout’. We sometimes joke that over the last seven years we’ve turned into the ‘national supplier’ of energy transition communications. And it’s something we’re really proud of. Our studio is brimming with ideas and energy for developing future apps, smart services, great reports, data visualisations, animations and websites. The new possibilities stimulate the imagination.

Have you any great projects in an energy domain where you’d like to unleash some design power? Just call or email us!

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