Sustainable innovation and innovative sustainability: the Janssen smart heat grid of the 4th generation
Sustainability is in Janssen's DNA. We do not just want to contribute to a better society by developing trail-blazing medicines, but also by looking after our planet. We believe that green energy and investing in an intelligent heat grid of the fourth generation at our site in Beerse are inherently part of this equation. Such a smart heat grid on an industrial scale is a first for Flanders. The start of the activities was festively heralded in the presence of the Flemish Minister for Energy, Bart Tommelein, and Stef Heylen, Managing Director of Janssen Pharmaceutica.
What is a smart heat grid?
A smart heat grid can best be compared with central heating in a home, but then on the level of a village, neighbourhood or a business site such as Janssen. It is also sometimes called district heating. At one location, hot water is produced that is taken to consumers by means of a network of (underground) pipes. The heat of a smart heat grid is produced on a large scale and centrally – this is more efficient and saves on energy consumption.
A 4th generation smart heat grid is the most advanced and makes intelligent use of sustainable energy sources, water at lower temperatures and insulated pipes. Thanks to the use of water at lower temperatures, residual and renewable heat can be used optimally. The intelligent design and control of the entire system ensure that as much energy as possible is taken from the heating water.
What does the innovative Janssen smart heat grid look like?
The smart heat grid has different heat sources and users. At the same time, some of these users are also a source of heat. The most important heat source will be the geothermal power plant where the Earth's deep internal heat is deployed to produce hot water supplemented with systems that run on gas to ensure there is a backup capacity. Water at a high temperature is used for processes, washing machines and the cleaning of equipment. Water at a low temperature is used for heating cleanrooms and laboratories.
"Thanks to a combination of the smart heat grid and soon the use of the Earth's internal heat, Janssen can save 15,900 metric tons of CO2 per year."
Managing Director Stef Heylen looks ahead: “Thanks to a combination of the smart heat grid and soon the use of the Earth's internal heat, Janssen can save 15,900 metric tons of CO2 per year. This means that we are fully cooperating in realising the climate goals of Johnson & Johnson. Our joint CO2 emissions must drop by 20% by 2020 when compared to the emissions in 2010. The goal is a reduction of 80% by 2050. In addition, the used electricity must come from sustainable or renewable sources by 35% by 2020. All buildings must be supplied through 100% renewable energy by 2050.” The activities of phase 1 will have been completed in 2020; afterwards further modifications will take approximately 15 years to complete.