Geothermal development and municipal involvement in Utrecht

By District Energy posted 04-09-2021 11:47


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The planned geothermal development efforts in Utrecht, Netherlands have been in discussions for quite some time. In January 2021, the development group Warmtebron Utrecht (Heat Source Utrecht)  announced a preferred location for continuing research into geothermal energy in the province of Utrecht.

It has been a bit quite since then and in an interview published on the group’s website, Joris Peijster, Lean Project Manager of Warmtebron Utrecht and Hans Slootweg, Sustainability Advisor of the municipality of Nieuwegein provide an update on the current status of the efforts.

Assessment framework

In response to the announcement of our preferred location, the Municipal Executive has announced that the municipality first wants to establish an assessment framework for geothermal energy. “Only then can we talk about locations,” says Hans. “The city council then indicated at the end of January that the extraction of geothermal energy to make the district heating network more sustainable could be a realistic option.

But the council has also said that the assessment framework for assessing this must first be tightened up with measurable and realistic indicators. The municipality is working hard to organize this. With the tightened assessment framework, the municipality is testing whether the extraction of geothermal energy in Nieuwegein is possible in a socially responsible manner at proposed suitable locations.”

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Carefulness in the process is extremely important, according to Joris. “It is up to the municipality to develop its own assessment framework in order to be prepared for a possible proposal for a location. That takes a little more time than we had estimated in advance. That means that we also have to redo our own schedule. That is why we are now making agreements with the municipality to have clear from both sides where we stand.

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