Spatial planning strategy for the subsurface - Summary

The policy strategy aims for safe, sustainable and efficient use of the underground space, with use offset by protective measures. It is a joint strategy of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

The main elements of the policy strategy are as follows.

  • A focus on safety and engaging with local residents when new underground activities are planned.
  • The provincial authorities take the lead in designating areas for drinking water extraction.
  • The present government will not issue exploration licences for new gas fields on land. Gas extraction from small existing fields will be needed for some time to come.
  • The potential of geothermal energy will be exploited wherever possible.
  • Shale gas extraction is ruled out, now and under future governments.
  • Carbon storage at sea. CO2 will not be stored on land as yet, though the future potential of this option will be explored.