Professional competences to support transformative change towards a largescale application of 5GHDC

  • E Stoel

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Making the heating sector sustainable is crucial to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The fifth-generation district heating and cooling (5GDHC) can be applied for making the heating sector more sustainable. Recent research on
5GDHC focuses on the large-scale application and implementation of 5GDHC networks. An area that has not been adequately studied is the knowledge and skills required by workers involved in 5GDHC networks. The aim of this
master's thesis research is to gain insight into the knowledge and skills required by workers involved in 5GDHC systems to perform their job successfully. This insight can serve as input for the development of a training
program. By creating a competence framework, the knowledge and skills required by workers involved in the construction of 5GDHC networks are mapped out systematically.
To gain insight into the positions on 5GDHC projects and the skills and knowledge required by workers, surveys have been conducted among employees working on 5GDHC projects. A literature review has been carried out on
the criteria for a competency framework and on existing competency frameworks for similar positions. Based on the survey results and literature review, a competence framework for the positions on the 5GDHC project
locations is developed. The European Skill, Competence, Qualification and Occupations database is used to define the competences.
The survey conducted to identify the positions on 5GDHC projects has led to the identification of 26 positions. The survey to map out the competencies has been fully completed by 24 respondents. The competence framework has
been developed for 13 positions that are present on one or more projects. The framework is based on NEN-EN 16234-1, the e-CF for ICT professionals. The framework consists of 12 main areas of competence, which are further
subdivided into competences and knowledge and skills.
For the positions of engineers in specific fields, competences related to those fields and general engineering competences are particularly important. For other positions, such as project managers, competences related to
those fields are also important, but to a lesser extent. Competences related to project management are crucial for this type of position. For all positions, social competencies are more or less important, especially working in a team
and dealing with stakeholders. Several special technical 5GHDC competences were found, but these do not apply for all positions. Each position in the framework is linked to an EQF level.
Future research should focus on obtaining a broader picture of how demand for competences is distributed across different project sites and how demand for competencies is related to the stage a 5GDHC project is in.
The main conclusion of this research is that, some unique 5GDHC competences were found and that in addition to technical competences, social competences such as communication skills and working in a team are also important
for working on 5GDHC projects. These competences are not unique for 5GDHC.
Date of Award23 Jun 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorWilfried Ivens (Examiner), Anna Bronzes (Supervisor) & Angelique Lansu (Co-assessor)

Master's Degree

  • Master Environmental Sciences

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