17 Jan 2024

Geothermal Action Plan Signed in North Brabant, Netherlands

17 Jan 2024  by thinkgeoenergy   

Kasteel Heeswijk, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands (source: flickr/ ToJoLa, creative commons)
The province of North Brabant in the Netherlands has signed the “Geothermal acceleration action plan” / “Actieplan versnelling Geothermie” which outlines the challenges for geothermal development in the province and designates a list of actions to address these challenges.

Co-signing the action plan are the municipalities of Helmond, Tilburg, Breda, Eindhoven, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Oss, and Someren along with several companies including Energie Beheer Nederland (EBN), Aardyn BV, Ennatuurlijk BV, Eavor BV, and Greenhouse Horticulture Netherlands (GTNL).

Jos van der Horst, Energy Commissioner of the Province, emphasizes that geothermal can be an important source of sustainable heat. However, there is inherent financial risk in geothermal projects that is often too great to be carried by just one party. “It is therefore important to seize opportunities and solve challenges. We have to do that together.”

The action plan identifies five bottlenecks the hinder the progress of geothermal energy in North Brabant:

Uncertainty about seismic risks in the Roerdal Valley / Roerdalslenk;

Availability of geological subsurface data;

Lack of investment due to financial risks;

Lack of insightful and integrated geothermal potential maps;

Lack of sufficient heat supply.

In contrast, four opportunities were also considered that can contribute to the accelerated deployment of geothermal in the province:

Making existing heating networks more sustainable;

Supplying the heat demand of the built environment, greenhouse horticulture, and light industries;

The potential for shallow (500 m – 1500 m) geothermal energy;

Better organization and sharing of knowledge and information on current developments.

Four working groups, each with different objectives, were formed to organize the actions outlined in the action plan.

Working group 1 (Knowledge, information, and communication) aims to increase awareness and understanding of geothermal energy as a sustainable heat source primarily to local authorities and stakeholders;

Working group 2 (Reducing development risks) aims to develop a scheme to reduce the financial risk of geothermal drilling and to reduce the current risk profile on developers.

Working group 3 (Roerdalslenk) aims to contribute to the safe and responsible geothermal development in the Roerdal Valley, a seismically active region that nevertheless has good geothermal potential;

Working group 4 (Integrated approach to geothermal energy in the energy transition) aims to develop opportunity maps based on geothermal potential and above-ground demand to determine where geothermal energy can be applied in North Brabant.


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