The potential of geothermal heat is enormous, and the branch organization Geothermal Netherlands is convinced of this. Yet, the production of geothermal heat in 2021 was almost the same as in 2020. In 2021 6.4 PJ (PetaJoule) of heat was produced compared to 6.2 PJ in 2020, according to a statistical overview.
Only a handful of projects have been added that produce heat compared to 2020. 19 new projects have an SDE subsidy and are yet to reach production. For the majority of these projects, it is still uncertain whether they will get off the ground in time. They have to deal with delayed granting of permits or the heat demand in the built environment is still complex.
Geothermal Energy Netherlands, therefore, argues for an extension of the implementation period of the SDE for geothermal energy to six years in order to prevent good, sustainable projects from not being realized. In total, there are approximately 70 projects that would like to start in the coming years, provided that the subsidy, permits, and heat demand are arranged in good time.
Hans Bolscher, Chairman of Geothermal Energy Netherlands: "Action by the government and politicians is needed to get those projects that are still in development off the ground. The sector is poised for strong growth, but no SDE subsidies have been granted for geothermal energy in the past two years. Dozens of projects are ready if things go better with permits and subsidies. In the future, geothermal energy will be able to meet about 25% of the Netherlands' total heat demand in a sustainable manner, and in the greenhouse horticulture sector, this figure will be more than 50%. Fortunately, there is plenty of support from politicians - as evidenced by the motions and amendments submitted to amend the Mining Act - and politicians are calling on the State Secretary and Minister to support geothermal energy in various ways. But the government really needs to speed up in order to realize this potential for sustainable heat - right now."
Alternative to natural gas
The use of geothermal heat currently saves more than 181 million m3 of natural gas per year. This is equivalent to the use of natural gas for a city the size of Eindhoven. So all in all, that already means a considerable saving in CO2 emissions. "These first initiatives have laid a solid foundation for further scaling up. Many more wells in many more places are needed to realize the ambitions of the Climate Agreement. This will also quickly reduce our dependence on natural gas."
Source: Geothermie Nederland