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Company: Alliander N.V.
Student: Maurits Korse (Master Industrial Design Engineering)
University mentor(s): Dr. A.J.J. Braaksma, R. Ruitenburg, MSc


Alliander N.V. is the largest grid operator for power and gas in the Netherlands. They develop, maintain and operate their grid with respect to high service availability and safety while actively participating in the current energy transition to smart grids, sustainable development and environmental impact reduction.

This graduation assignment is carried out at the department of Asset Management, Policy & Standardisation. It is responsible for the policy regarding all assets concerning gas, power and telecom. For this assignment the scope is narrowed down to a specific asset within the power grid: distribution transformers. Alliander owns and operates around 40.000 of these. An distinctive characteristic of these assets is that they have long life cycles and are operated for 40 years or more. From a sustainability perspective there are two sides to this: a long life cycle means less need for replacement and thus less waste and less impact on raw materials. However older assets are also less efficient and thus use more energy during operation.

Assignment description

Sustainability, and in specific circular economy, questions within investment decisions are generally difficult to value due to complexity of the issues that can be included within the scope. This research tries to identify the important aspects of sustainability in relation to common business case aspects and how they can be evaluated and presented in such a way that a comprehensible overview of the choices can be given. The resulting methodology may be input for investment decisions as well as life cycle management plans.

Research activities

  • Research on Circular Economy, trends and tools
  • Research on investment decisions and sustainability
  • Investigating the gaps between what is theoretically desirable and practically possible
  • Case study on distribution transformers considering investment decisions and sustainability
  • Develop a methodology to support investment decisions