Use geothermal heat doubled in the past 5 years

09/10/2015 15:00

The use of geothermal heat and energy in the Netherlands is increasing continually. Although the share of these new energy sources is still very modest, the production of geothermal heat has more than doubled between 2009 and 2014, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Geothermal heat accounts for 4 percent of renewable energy

Last year, these relatively new energy sources accounted for more than 4 percent of total renewable energy consumption. In turn, renewable energy accounts for less than 6 percent of total energy consumption in the Netherlands, so the share of geothermal heat and energy is still very modest.

Geothermal heat and soil energy, 2009-2014

Use of geothermal heat in horticulture under glass growing rapidly

Geothermal heat, also referred to as geothermal energy, is defined as the direct use of heat stored in the bowels of the earth. In the Netherlands, geothermal heat has been used since the end of 2008 to pump up hot groundwater from deeper layers of the earth. Today, this technology is applied in ten locations.

The government has introduced the Guarantee Scheme Geothermal Heat to encourage the use of geothermal energy and reduce the risks for those engaged in this technology. The scheme partly covers the risks of unsuccessful drilling attempts.

Since 2012, geothermal heat projects also qualify for subsidy schemes. On 1 March this year, a total amount of 1.1 billion euros in subsidies was granted to 36 projects, although it is as yet uncertain whether all these projects will in fact be realised.

Generation of  geothermal energy 80 percent up

The generation of geothermal energy uses hot or cold air which is stored in the upper layer of the soil, often a combination of heat extraction in winter and cold extraction in summer. This technology was already applied in the Netherlands before geothermal heat was used. Over the past half decade, generation of heat from geothermal energy has soared by 80 percent.
This technology is commonly applied in large, new office buildings and is cost-effective because in this type of non-residential buildings there is often a demand for heat and cold. 

The horticultural sector also uses extensive geothermal systems to heat greenhouses. Nearly 30 percent of geothermal heat is used to heat houses.