Provinces, cities, EBN and market players are joining forces on geothermal development in the Netherlands

Provinces, cities, EBN and market players are joining forces on geothermal development in the Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands (source: flickr/ Yusi Barclay!, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 24 Nov 2020

A wide group of municipal players, state-owned EBND and private market participants are partnering on geothermal development that could see wider application of geothermal heating across the Netherlands.

As reported by EBN in the Netherlands today, the provinces of Noord-Holland and Flevoland are joining forces with the municipalities of Amsterdam and Haarlem, EBN and 6 market parties (Vattenfall, Eneco, ENGIE, HVC, Shell and Eavor).  The partners to the agreement will work together to use natural heat from the ground in the region from Zandvoort to Almere to heat homes and other buildings.

EBN (Energie Beheer Nederland) is 100 percent owned by the Dutch State; with the shares are managed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate.

Edward Stigter, chairman of the steering group for the Acceleration of Geothermal MRA and the Provincial Executive for Climate and Energy of the Province of Noord-Holland: “The use of geothermal energy is a wonderful alternative to natural gas for heating homes. It would be great if we could also heat the region around Amsterdam sustainably in this way. It is essential that we, as governments and businesses, work on this together, because we desperately need each other for this. The agreement we are now concluding is an important first step. I would also like to call on other municipalities, heat companies and geothermal energy developers to join in. ”

Heating houses

Geothermal energy is a source of sustainable heat. It has been used for years in large cities such as Paris and Munich. In plans to make homes in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA) natural gas-free, allowance has been made for the fact that by 2040 almost a quarter of the buildings in the area can be heated with geothermal energy.

The 6 market parties, together with the provinces, municipalities and EBN, want to ensure that geothermal energy can be used as quickly as possible and in a safe and reliable manner. Geothermal energy must of course be affordable and there must be support from local residents. The provinces, municipalities, heat companies and geothermal energy developers are now focusing on this. Agreements have been made about, among other things, the sharing of knowledge and experience, the efficient use of the subsurface and the coordination of plans.

Research geothermal energy

In the region around Amsterdam, geothermal energy has so far been used to a limited extent, because it has yet to be investigated whether the heat from the subsoil in this region can be used for heating buildings. In the area between Zandvoort and Lelystad, this autumn and next spring, EBN will collect data with seismic research to better map out where the soil is suitable for extracting geothermal energy.

Once this knowledge has been identified, it can be continued. Initiatives to realize geothermal heat projects already exist in Haarlem, Almere, Diemen, Amsterdam and the IJmond. Several parties work together in this as well. The first results of this can be expected in a few years.

Next steps

An important next step for the collaborating parties is the interpretation of the data resulting from the seismic survey by EBN. In addition, research is being conducted into how residents can participate financially in geothermal energy projects and the roles, tasks and powers between the various parties that follow from the Heat Act and the Mining Act are examined.

The Acceleration of Geothermal Heat MRA project aims to accelerate the use of geothermal energy as a sustainable heat source. Read more on

Source: EBN