New Masterplan projects important role for geothermal heating in the Netherlands

Masterplan Aardwarmte Nederlands (screenshot)
Alexander Richter 29 May 2018

The Dutch Association of Geothermal Operators (DAGO), Stichting Platform Geothermie, Stichting Warmtenetwerk and EBN have released a Geothermal Energy Masterplan for the Netherlands, with a focus on a broad basis for sustainable heat supply.

The Dutch Association of Geothermal Operators (DAGO), Stichting Platform Geothermie, Stichting Warmtenetwerk and EBN have released a Geothermal Energy Masterplan (with a focus on a broad basis for sustainable heat supply. The report has seen many parties involved in the creation based on interviews and work sessions. The work on the report was supported by the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate and Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations in the Netherlands. Bu

In recent years, geothermal heat has gained popularity in the Netherlands. The decreasing production and consumption of natural gas and the increasing need for sustainable heat sources, ask for sustainable alternatives to natural gas. Geothermal energy offers a chance and sustainable alternative to heat buildings and greenhouses and to be used in industry. For this good agreement is required between, among others, residents of buildings, municipalities involved, energy companies and producers of geothermal energy. Minister Wiebes of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate wrote earlier this year in a letter of parliament that geothermal energy has the potential has “to play an important role in making the heat supply more sustainable and therefore in it the transition to a low-carbon energy supply.

“In 2017, the State Supervision of Mines (SSM) published a report on the State of Geothermie Sector, which highlights the need for safe extraction of geothermal energy as a condition for call successful growth and offer a perspective on the necessary actions. Also the sector tables, that contribute to the realization of the Climate and Energy Agreement 2018 with the aim of one CO2 reduction of 49% by 2030, look carefully at geothermal heat as a sustainable heat source.

The year 2018 is in view of these developments for us the time to jointly reach an ambition and accompanying action plan to the geothermal sector in the coming years in a responsible manner to scale up further. That is why we proudly publish our Geothermal Master Plan (for) The Netherlands.

The plan describes how we (as an industry) are sustainable, safe and socially responsible way and on the basis of the production of the current 3 PJ of Dutch geothermal heat per year, via 50 PJ per year in 2030, we can produce more than 200 PJ per year by 2050. By the broad composition of the group of initiators of this Master Plan multiple perspectives and interests are represented.


We have high ambitions as a sector, higher than previously indicated, based on the basis of strong recent activities and the latest estimates of the geothermal potential in the Netherlands. The Dutch subsurface contains a lot of potential for extracting geothermal energy: in the soil hot water that is stored in rock layers. The energy that is stored in this warm water, we call geothermal energy. Depending on the depth and therefore the temperature  of this warm water, this geothermal heat can for example be used for heating houses and greenhouses or for industrial applications.

Thanks to the first Dutch operators, indispensable pioneers in a period in which geothermal heat was not yet common, is geothermal energy now a proven sustainable heat source for greenhouse horticulture. New buyers from the industry and the built environment now also come into focus emphatically and quickly.

We are looking forward to discuss and improve this Master Plan with many stakeholders. So is the development of geothermal heat strongly depends on social support, the growth and rollout of heat grids and further research into the subsurface potential, where we are in the to stay closely involved in the coming years. This Master Plan forms a common for us starting point where we want to build on in a dynamic way in the coming years.

The report can be accessed below, but is written in Dutch only.

Masterplan Aardwarmte in Nederland (in Dutch, pdf)

Source: Dutch Association of Geothermal Operators