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SEREH: The first smart energy cross-border region


SEREH (Smart Energy Region Emmen-Haren) is a cross border project initiated by two neighbouring cities, Emmen and Haren, on the Dutch-German border. The aim of the project is to exploit the complementarity of the two cities and their respective energy profiles in order to reach their goals concerning energy transition. In particular, the project seeks to design the pre-conditions for installing a decentralised cross-border electricity and energy market. SEREH represents a ground-braking initiative on the European scene since it will represent the first pilot project for the implementation of an internal energy market. The project implementation is organised in different work packages:

  • Analysis of the energy status quo and scenario development.
  • Development of a model (computer simulation) of a cross-border energy supply system between the two cities to evaluate the different possible scenarios.
  • Examining how conversion to hydrogen can play a role in a cross-border energy market and energy management.
  • Designing a possible legal framework for the realisation of an Emmen-Haren cross-border local energy system.



In the municipalities of Emmen (NL) and Haren (DE).





The project is being implemented under the INTERREG VA Germany - The Netherlands 2014-2020 Programme (EUR 744 145 of ERDF) and will run from March 2018 to February 2022. The lead partner of the project is themunicipality of Emmen, in partnership with the city of Haren, the Universities of Hochschule Osnabrück, Twente and Groningen, Agrowea, a company producing electricity from wind energy and solid biomass, and NAM, an exploration and production company specialised in oil and gas.



The overall aim of the project is the creation of a regional energy market in Emmen/Haren by 2025. The results that have been achieved in the first phase are the following:

  • The formulation of a regional energy market concept, which involves the cross-border exchange of sustainable energy, which will lead to economic benefits.
  • The identification of technical and infrastructural requirements for cross-border exchange of sustainable energy.
  • The development of a legal framework allowing the exchange of electricity and hydrogen across the border.
  • The development of a computer model to test the feasibility of various scenarios for the future of the project.
  • The involvement of required stakeholders for the realisation of the project.
  • The acquisition of a political and governmental platform for the cross-border and regional exchange of sustainable energy.


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