Seismic study identifies potential geothermal sites in North Holland and Flevoland

Seismic study identifies potential geothermal sites in North Holland and Flevoland Haarlem, North Holland, Netherlands (source: Rob Oo / flickr, Creative Commons)
Carlo Cariaga 23 Nov 2022

The SCAN programme, commissioned by EBN, has identified several high-potential sites for geothermal heating development in North Holland and Flevoland, Netherlands.

Several opportunities for potential geothermal development have identified in the provinces of North Holland and Flevoland, Netherlands by the Seismic Geothermal Campaign Netherlands (SCAN) programme. The project was executed by IF Technology and commissioned by Energie Beheer Nederland (EBN) and the North Holland and Flevoland provinces.

The aim of the study is to perform better mapping of the region’s geothermal energy potential and determine the extent to which geothermal energy can contribute to the heat supply. The project was carried out in the period of Q2 to Q4 2022. The public report of the results (in Dutch) can be accessed here.

Based on a geological study of the region, three geological formations and strata have been identified as suitable as hosts for possible geothermal resources:

  • The Slochteren Formation is a sandy package found in almost the entire study area. This formation lies at a depth of between 1500 and 3000 meters and is already being used as the source for geothermal heat in other places in the Netherlands. The permeability of the layer can vary greatly locally.
  • The Rijnland Group and Schieland Group offer opportunities for geothermal energy and are found in two locations in North Holland at a maximum depth of around 1300 meters. This package is not found in Flevoland.
  • The Zand van Brussel is found in the north-eastern part of the study area at depths ranging from 700 to 1300 meters and with a maximum thickness of 80 meters. Potential estimates are uncertain as there is very little log and core data available on this formation.
Diffusion map of the three formations elaborated in the North Holland and Flevoland study (source: IF Technology)

With these formations as basis, several sites with very good opportunities for geothermal heat were identified by the seismic study. In North Holland, results have been positive in large parts (except in Texel) and around Heemskerk-Velsen-Ijmuiden-Haarlem. In Flevoland, there is good potential near Lelystad and in the northeastern part of Noordoostpolder.

Although the study identified several high-potential areas, there is still a high level of uncertainty that needs to be addressed with further studies. The study concludes by recommending local feasibility studies in Lelystad and the Noordoostpolder, North Holland-Miden, and North Holland-North. The potential in South Flevoland and North Holland-South (Amsterdam and Haarlem) can be further explored with new seismic data or well data.

Source: North Holland