70 Dutch geothermal projects in the pipeline

The current number of 28 Dutch geothermal projects can be expanded to almost 100 projects in the coming years. This is evident from an inventory of Geothermal Netherlands among its members. There are about 70 geothermal projects in the pipeline.

These projects will provide sustainable heat for the built environment and greenhouses, and are therefore a major and necessary supplier for the heat transition, according to the interest group, which points out that the sector is in the starting blocks for this strong growth. However, in order to realize this growth, political and governmental action is also needed, they believe. The sector is asking for attention for this during the discussion of the Mining Act in the Dutch Parliament and has submitted the following wish list. A sector document has also been drawn up.

Realization period SDE (Incentive scheme for Sustainable Energy Transition ) from 4 to 6 years
For 2022, there are 22 projects ready that already have an SDE subsidy decision but which, due to delays in granting permits or the complexity of the demand for heat in the built environment, cannot be realized within the SDE period. For these and future projects, it is necessary to extend the realization period from 4 to 6 years. This will enable a lot of sustainable heat to become available very quickly.

Necessary amendments to Mining Act
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change (EZK) and Geothermie Netherlands have been consulting for a number of years to ensure that the new parts of the Mining Act that apply to geothermal energy are well aligned with the - future - practice of the sector. At this stage, Geothermal Netherlands is asking for special attention to be paid to a number of necessary changes that will prevent the new Act from causing unnecessary problems. A better transitional regime is crucial, but other issues such as clear frameworks, clarity on the search area for a start-up permit, the search area for heat sales, regulations on competing applications, and criteria for a follow-up permit in relation to the start-up permit must also be improved.

Faster permit granting
It is essential that the granting of permits is done much faster and within the statutory deadlines, and that the content of the permits is predictable through clear frameworks. Only then can financing, SDE subsidies, and project planning be properly coordinated. The current, very long lead times for granting permits are disastrous for the sector. The projects lose their subsidies, the confidence of financiers comes under pressure and specialist suppliers disappear to other countries. This requires a joint effort from geothermal companies and the government. Geothermal companies will further improve their applications and the Ministry of Economic Affairs can simplify the process and free up more capacity to meet the deadlines.

Strong growth in geothermal energy is very promising
In the future, geothermal energy will be able to meet about 25 percent of the Netherlands' total heat demand in a sustainable manner, and in the greenhouse horticulture sector, it will even be able to meet more than 50 percent. The geothermal sector in the Netherlands is relatively young. More and more large market players are joining. Much has been learned in recent years: better cooperation with the authorities, better wells, and better integration with the heat purchase. The sector is ready for strong growth.

Source: Geothermie Nederland

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