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Shell + D4 granted new geothermal license in the Netherlands

Shell + D4 granted new geothermal license in the Netherlands Holland, Netherlands (source: Flickr/veitliveit, Creative Commons)
Carlo Cariaga 27 Aug 2021

Shell and D4 aim to develop at least 200 MW of thermal energy for heating of the Rhineland area in Holland.

Shell and D4 have been granted the license to explore and develop geothermal energy in the Rhineland area in Holland by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK). The license covers the municipalities in the Holland Rjinland region and Haarlammermeer in North Holland. The permit is valid for six years.

More than 200 MW of thermal energy can be potentially developed in the license area. This will be enough to meet a majority of the heating demand in Holland Rjinland and Greenport Alsmeer. The license application was reviewed by various experts before it was granted, including TNO, the State Supervision of Mines (SodM), the Mjinraad, the water board, the municipalities, and drinking water companies.

Shell has been quite active in geothermal development in Netherlands. Earlier this year, we reported that the Warmte van Leeuwarden consortium (of which Shell is a member) have signed a contract for the drilling of a geothermal project in Leeuwarden. The company has also been involved in expanding geothermal use in horticulture in the De Lier region, as we reported as well.

Towards energy transition

If the project proceeds as expected, it will contribute greatly to the region’s goal of transitioning away from natural gas for heating. In Holland Rjinland, almost half of the energy demand is used for heat. 85% is designated for heating homes and businesses, while the other 15% is for heating tap water.

The municipalities of in the Duin- en Bollenstreek region are also investigating the feasibility of creating the Warmterotonde Rjinland – an open heat infrastructure that links different suppliers, users, and sources. This heat network can be supplied by local heat sources while ensuring optimal use at low costs. The use of sustainable heating for horticulture is also being explored in Greenport Alsmeer via the heat network.

Exploration and development plans

Now that the license has been granted, Shell and D4 is set to start a feasibility study to identify where the development shall be located. The companies will be working with Firan, an infrastructure specialist, as well as the various concerned municipalities. Subsurface mapping is expected to be one of the first exploration steps and will take into due consideration matters such as safety and the environment.

Source: Rijnland Aardwarmte