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Exploring geothermal heating opportunities beneath the city of Brussels, Belgium

News piece on Brussel project, RTBF - screenshot
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 5 Feb 2018

Drilling has started on a project aimed at exploring geothermal energy potential beneath Brussels, the capital city of Belgium and home to various European Union institutions and offices.

Reported locally today, a drilling project began as part of the Brugeo program, funded by the European Union (ERDF funds) and the Brussels Region. The objective of the project is to explore the potential of the Brussels subsoil for geothermal energy development, in particular for heating.

Drilling is currently under way and the first drill samples are being collected, according to Estelle Petitclerc from the Geological Survey of Belgium, a department of the Institute of Natural Sciences. This sampling, meter by meter will continue until 120 meters deep. ”  Here we will reach rocks that have never been exploited, never explored until now in Brussels”. Rocks from an ancient mountain range, potentially interesting for shallow geothermal systems.

Mapping the Brussels subsoil

All the data collected during this drilling will be used to create a potential map of the Brussels subsoil. ”  The goal is to show that there is a geothermal potential in Brussels that is interesting, it can work very well if it is done correctly  ” explains Christian Burlet of the Geological Survey of Belgium. ”  And it is also to facilitate the decision for the installation of such a system. My house, my building is in this place. Is geothermal energy a possible solution and will it be profitable? With these mapping efforts, we will know that very quickly. ”

Belgium and Brussels are late in the game

Compared to other European countries, Belgium, and Brussels in particular, is lagging behind in the development of geothermal energy, an alternative that gives access to an inexhaustible and clean resource in terms of gas emissions.

In Brussels, only about fifty buildings already use this renewable energy for their heating and air conditioning system. Essentially individuals but also large institutions such as Chirec with its new Delta hospital, or NATO on its new site.

With the completion of the Brugeo project in 2019, the installation of new geothermal systems should no longer be hampered by the lack of precise knowledge of the subsoil of the capital.

Source: RTBF