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Geothermal heat project begins in Leeuwarden, Netherlands


Today it is still an anonymous piece of grassland on the outskirts of Leeuwarden. From 10 May, work will start here on a large geothermal energy project that can be used to heat buildings and homes with sustainable energy: Warmte van Leeuwarden. Bert Wassink, alderman for energy and sustainability of the municipality of Leeuwarden is looking forward to this technological breakthrough in his municipality: "It would be great if geothermal energy could become a realistic alternative to natural gas in Leeuwarden in heating our homes and companies."

The project is being developed by a consortium comprising a local construction and heat company, Shell and EBN

Far below the earth's surface, at a depth of about 2.7 kilometers, there is a source of heat. Hot water from this source can be pumped up and is excellent for heating homes and buildings. A little further on, the cooled water goes back into the earth to warm up again. That means 100% renewable and reliable, because geothermal energy is not dependent on weather conditions. The Warmte van Leeuwarden project starts with a drilling to determine whether the heat source is suitable and usable. If so, the construction of a heat network can begin. The project will supply heat equal to the heat demand of 6,000 to 8,000 homes.

Geothermal use

Geocombinatie Leeuwarden (GCL), a consortium of Bouwgroep Dijkstra Draisma, heat company Ennatuurlijk, Shell and Energie Beheer Netherlands (EBN) will soon start work to utilize these renewable heat source to be connected to make a new to district heating. Ivar Nijenhuis is director of GCL: “Geocombination Leeuwarden and Ennatuurlijk are simultaneously developing a geothermal energy source and a new heating network in the built environment. I am very proud that the shareholders of Geocombinatie Leeuwarden have now decided to realize this project.”

The construction of the drilling site will start on 10 May, and a first test drilling will start in the summer. 

“I am really looking forward to the result of that first drilling,” says Ivar Nijenhuis of GCL. “This will show in September whether the subsurface is good enough to continue with the construction of the heat network, the construction of the heat plant and the drilling of the second well, so that we can start supplying sustainable heat to Leeuwarden in 2023”.

KeyFacts Energy: EBN Netherlands country profile   l   Shell Netherlands country profile

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