Greenhouse growers in the Netherlands look at repurposing gas wells to utilise geothermal energy

Westland Greenhouse, Wateringen, The Netherlands (Source: Flickr/ Jeroen van Luin, Creative Commons) - not directly related to story
Alexander Richter 10 Oct 2019

In Klazienaaven, Netherlands, horticulture operators are looking at the repurposing of old gas wells to utilise geothermal energy for heating purposes. With that Tullip Energy from Amsterdam aims to decrease the cost and risk of geothermal development and provide cost effective heating to up to 25 growers in the region.

As reported locally, greenhouse growers in Klazienaveen, Netherlands have set their eyes on the utilisation of geothermal energy. Tullip Energy from Amsterdam wants to convert two old NAM gas wells in the Rundedal in Klazienaveen-Noord for the extraction of geothermal heat.

Earlier attempts by horticulture operators in Klazienaveen to drill for geothermal heat failed because of the lack of participation among the growers. But the use of existing wells could help save millions of Euros in extraction costs.

Both the horticulturists and the province of Drenthe see salvation in the innovative way of heat extraction. Reusing old gas extraction wells in the Rundedal near Klazienaveen is not only a lot cheaper, but also more sustainable than drilling new wells. Moreover, the risk of extraction does not lie with the growers themselves, which was the intention in the past. They only become geothermal energy customers.

The Provincial Executive has supported the project. For example, they are prepared to transfer (part of) the exploration license for geothermal energy ‘Klazienaveen’ to Tullip Exploration and Production. With the statement, Tullip Energy can apply for the the state run SDE + subsidies.

It is not yet known when the project will actually start. According to the province of Drenthe, the aim is to start geothermal energy extraction in 2021. Only the method that Tullip Energy wants to use is very new.

Research must also show whether the two former natural gas extraction wells of NAM are suitable as a source for geothermal heat. Tullip Energy cooperates with Shell Geothermal, Energie Beheer Nederland and ZON Participaties.

The geothermal heat from the former gas wells is not expected to be enough to provide all of the approximately 25 growers in Klazienaveen with their energy needs. They therefore still have to keep firing themselves. Part of the heat gained is probably also used for district heating.

Director Cees Ruhé of Greenhouse Horticulture Netherlands department Groningen / Drenthe is delighted with the initiative of Tullip Energy. “They see it as a business model. They offer the heat, so the risk of winning lies with them. For us as gardeners it does not require large investments and is more sustainable than making new wells. ”

There is a lot of interest on the gardener side this time, Ruhé notes after a consultation round. “Almost everyone has said they want to sign up.” The municipality of Emmen is also responding positively.

Source: Nieuwe Oogst