Government stimulates geothermal heat

Geothermal heat is a form of energy that uses heat stored in the Earth. It is an environmentally friendly alternative to heating by coal or gas. The government provides grants and other support to stimulate this form of sustainable energy.

Using geothermal heat for homes and greenhouses

Geothermal heat installations pump up warm water from a depth of at least 500 metres, which is used for heating homes and greenhouses. Once cooled, the water is returned to the ground and can be reused at a later date. The advantage of geothermal heat is that it never runs out.

There are currently 12 geothermal projects in the Netherlands, including one at a horticulture business in Pijnacker, which also supplies geothermal heat to homes.

Government grants for geothermal heat

Investing in geothermal heat makes Dutch companies more competitive. That’s why government wants Dutch geothermal heat plants to generate11 petajoules (PJ) by 2020. One PJ is the average electricity and gas consumption of 150,000 households.

The Geothermal Heat Action Plan sets out undertakings on achieving this, such as:

  • Better risk insurance: government helps businesses cover the risks of drilling for geothermal heat.
  • ThermoGIS: government is investing in software that supports geothermal heat exploration by companies and government authorities.

  • The ‘energy-producing greenhouse’ programme: a collaborative venture in which government and industry work together to reduce CO2 emissions from greenhouse horticulture, notably by providing businesses with information.

  • Renewable Energy Grant Scheme (SDE+)

  • Grants for fixed geothermal heat pumps are available via the de Sustainable Energy Investment Scheme.

Permits for geothermal heat exploration and production

A permit is required for geothermal heat exploration and production at depths of 500 metres or more. The State Supervision of MInes (SodM) provides information on applying for permits for geothermal projects.