Dutch government wants to further accelerate geothermal development

Dutch government wants to further accelerate geothermal development Huisman equipment on geothermal project site, Netherlands (source: Huisman)
Alexander Richter 1 Jun 2020

The Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate in the Netherlands announces efforts to further accelerate geothermal development in the Netherlands with faster permitting to help speed up drilling among others.

In a letter sent to the Dutch parliament (May 28, 2020), Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate, Mr. Eric Wiebes, shares his view on how the government is working on accelerating geothermal energy development.

In view of the goal of extracting 15 PJ from geothermal energy by 2030, efforts have been made in recent years to accelerate geothermal energy development. That worked out well, because in 2019 the sector doubled by 51%, good for 5.6 PJ. Now it is time to develop further, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Eric Wiebes shares in a letter to parliament.

While in 2018, Wiebes also shared with the House at the time, the emphasis was on creating a solid basis for the safe and responsible extraction of geothermal energy (reinforcement), the emphasis in the follow-up phase will mainly be on accelerating development. geothermal energy, the further development of geothermal energy in greenhouse horticulture and the application of geothermal energy in the built environment.

More compact procedures, faster drilling

To facilitate further acceleration, it helps if the bureaucracy involved in projects can go faster, if it is also safe. Efforts are being made to adapt the permit system in the Mining Act.

“The proposed modifications will make the procedures for geothermal projects more compact and will make it possible to start extraction immediately after a short test period. If after this initial extraction it appears that the installation can win safely and responsibly, the application for a follow-up permit will be to make long-term production easier, “says Wiebes.

Until the law has been changed, a transitional regime applies. This framework applies to all projects that plan to drill for geothermal energy from mid-November 2019 and has been shared with all stakeholders.

All extraction plans discussed in early 2021.

There are currently around 20 geothermal projects in the Netherlands. These projects were created within a legal framework that does not focus on geothermal energy and have therefore had no assessment of their extraction plans in the past. Until March last year, these projects operated on the basis of a production license in combination with stricter supervision by State Supervision of Mines.

In March 2019, Wiebes started a process to receive a production plan for all projects, to assess and, where possible, to grant approval decisions. The extraction plans of all projects have been received since April 2019. I expect to have handled all projects in early 2021 and to be able to take approval decisions for almost all projects.

New techniques, different financial picture

With the development of the sector, new ways of extraction have also emerged. They deserve nuances in the ‘financial instruments’, says Wiebes. Categories have been added in the SDE ++ scheme and, for example, a separate basic amount for shallow geothermal energy, because, according to Wiebes, the costs of this technique are lower.

Source: Groenten Nieuws