From natural gas to geothermal in the Netherlands

From natural gas to geothermal in the Netherlands City view, Delft, Netherlands (source: flickr/ bert knottenbeld, creative commons)
Carlo Cariaga 7 Oct 2021

In an opinion piece, Wilma Berends describes the challenges that the Netherlands is facing in making the transition from natural gas to geothermal heating.

In an opinion article, Wilma Berends highlights the vast opportunities of adopting geothermal heating in Netherlands and the various challenges that are slowing down the development.

Currently, about 90% of all households in Netherlands have a central heating boiler powered by natural gas. Despite Netherlands’ Geothermal Master Plan outlining a potential of 50 PJ in 2030 and 200 PJ in 2050, only a few thousand homes in The Hague and the Westland use geothermal energy for heating. There is also no shortage of ambition as several heating companies have already made plans to introduce geothermal energy into their grids.

Why, then, is Netherlands seemingly not yet fully committed to the technology?

Berends emphasizes a number of barriers that have kept more companies from producing geothermal energy in the Netherlands:

  • The licensing process dictates that companies secure three different permits for geothermal development. Although permit application is required by law to take only 45 weeks, it can extend up to 80 weeks in practice. A permit application also has to go through six different organizations.
  • There is a lack of subsidies for geothermal development. The good news is that the House of Representatives have decided to increase the number of subsidy opportunities starting on 2023.

As is the case in various places around the world, more government support will be needed to spur geothermal development in the Netherlands. For the complete opinion piece by Wilma Berends, please click on the link below.

Source: Energie Podium