April 2019, Utrecht, The Netherlands
The fact that such a large part of the Netherlands is still a white spot on the map of geothermal heat, is since oil or gas industry has hardly drilled in these regions in the past, and a few seismic profiles are available. The so-called Rotliegend formation forms the subsoil of the region from west to east. If the results of the research in the province of Utrecht are positive, it is likely to mean a high probability of the presence of geothermal energy in other places in the area. That is why the province, the municipality of Utrecht (where there is a gas-fired heating network), and the government (via the RVO), contribute financially to the research.
Research into geothermal heat is quite expensive, but because this alternative form of energy extraction can not only be sustainable but possibly also an interesting market, ENGIE SERVICES, Huisman, Eneco (owner of the Utrecht heat network), EBN (Energie Beheer Nederland) and TNO are investing in the research project. Consultancy firms IF Technology and Well Engineering Partners (WEP) and Utrecht University are also involved.
“If the test is successful, we can tap into a sustainable source with which the existing heat network in Utrecht and Nieuwegein can supply heat.”