Work on a large geothermal energy project is to kick off May 10, 2021 on the outskirts of Leeuwarden, so an announcement by the project. The project consortium, Warmte van Leeuwarden, plans to supply sustainable heating from geothermal energy to buildings and home.
This month work is preparing the site for construction with drilling to kick off during July and August 2021. If everything goes according to plan, the drilling of a 2nd well will proceed in Q3 of 2022. We previously reported on the project.
Bert Wassink, local council man for energy and sustainability of the municipality of Leeuwarden is looking forward to this technological breakthrough in his municipality: “It would be great if geothermal energy could become a realistic alternative to natural gas in Leeuwarden in heating our homes and companies.”
Far below the earth’s surface, at a depth of about 2,700 metres, there is a source of heat. Hot water from this source can be pumped up and is excellent for heating homes and buildings. A little further on, the cooled water goes back into the earth to warm up again. That means 100% renewable and reliable, because geothermal energy is not dependent on weather conditions. The Warmte van Leeuwarden project starts with a drilling to determine whether the heat source is suitable and usable. If so, the construction of a heat network can begin. The project will supply heat equal to the heat demand of 6,000 to 8,000 homes.
Geocombinatie Leeuwarden (GCL), a consortium of Bouwgroep Dijkstra Draisma, heat company Ennatuurlijk, Shell and Energie Beheer Netherlands (EBN) will soon start work to utilize these renewable heat source to be connected to make a new to district heating. Ivar Nijenhuis is director of GCL: “Geocombination Leeuwarden and Ennatuurlijk are simultaneously developing a geothermal source and a new heating network in the built environment. I am very proud that the shareholders of Geocombinatie Leeuwarden have now decided to realize this project. ”
Geothermal energy as essential link in heat transition in the built environment
In the Netherlands, geothermal energy is already used in greenhouse horticulture, but not yet on a large scale in the built environment. The use of geothermal energy is an essential link in making the built environment more sustainable. Potentially, geothermal energy could provide approximately 26% of the total heat demand of all houses and buildings, according to recent research report on geothermal by EBN. Council man Wassink van Leeuwarden endorses the necessity of using geothermal energy for buildings: “Together we face a major challenge. The Netherlands must be free of natural gas by 2050. For this we have to look for alternative, sustainable heat sources. Geothermal energy is such a sustainable heat source. ”
Example for more geothermal energy projects
Esther Pijs, Director of Heat & Subsurface at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, therefore encourages these types of projects: “Geothermal energy in combination with heat networks can make an important contribution to the heat transition in the Netherlands, especially in the built environment. Making the built environment more sustainable is complex, which is why exemplary projects such as Warmte van Leeuwarden are of crucial importance. By learning from projects such as these, we can accelerate geothermal energy in the built environment. ”
Work will begin
The construction of the drilling site will start on 10 May. That takes two months. A first test drilling will start in the summer. “I’m really looking forward to the result of that first drilling,” says Ivar Nijenhuis of GCL. “This will show in September whether the subsurface is good enough to continue with the construction of the heat network, the construction of the heat plant and the drilling of the second well, so that we can start supplying sustainable heat to Leeuwarden in 2023 !”
Connecting to a new heat network
Naturally, it is the heat company that will install the heat network and link it to the Frisian geothermal source. “It remains exciting until the first drilling,” says Ernst Japikse, director of Ennatuurlijk. “But if all goes well, geothermal energy will soon be used on a large scale in Leeuwarden to heat homes and businesses. The source and the heat network to be installed will be an important one-two. No sustainable heat in the home without a source, but neither without a heat network. This project will help us to increasingly use geothermal energy as a source. For existing, but also for new networks. We are doing this for the first time here in Leeuwarden. An important milestone for Ennatuurlijk, but also for scaling up geothermal energy in the Netherlands.”
Source: Warmte van Leeuwarden