Netherlands: Drilling at multiple locations possible with exploration permit

Drilling for geothermal energy can be started again in Westland and surrounding municipalities in order to provide heat to the Dutch greenhouse horticulture industry. The Ministry of Economic Affairs recently issued an exploration permit for 52.2 square kilometers to Energie Transitie Partners (ETP). Marco van Soerland: "In the Westland with a patchwork of all kinds of small permits, this is a big application."

Energie Transitie Partners can now use the exploration permit to carry out drilling in the Westland, Midden-Delfland and Rotterdam for the next four years (up to and including 2022). The exact coordinates can be found in the application (in Dutch). The activities of ETP focus primarily on making the Westland more sustainable.

100 megawatts
The application was already made in February 2017, as Marco states. “During the application process, we already started working with all involved parties, including various heat cooperatives, to set up the geothermal projects. We were fully confident that the permit would be granted to us."

Now that this is actually the case, Marco expects to be able to realize several projects well within the four-year term. “We can go much faster than what is stated in the application. With this permit we expect, together with the affiliated energy cooperatives (including Geo4Energy, Aardwarmte Maasdijk and the Polanen and Kralingerpolder heat cooperatives) to be able to quickly bring up some 100 Megawatts of geothermal heat.

In addition, we want to immediately realize several wells at the several drilling locations, for example 4, 5 or 6 boreholes at one location in one go. That makes up-scaling possible and also is more efficient.” In comparison: 100 Megawatts is about just as much geothermal heat as all existing, individual projects in the Westland currently are generating together.

Connecting another 100 Megawatt residual heat
In the meantime, ETP is also working on the Westland Heat System (Warmtesysteem Westland WSW), in which ETP, together with the heat cooperatives, wants to link the various doublets in greenhouse horticulture. "We are also at a very advanced stage with the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Gasunie to get another 100 Megawatts of residual heat to the Westland."

For more information:
Energie Transitie Partners 

Marco van Soerland


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