Friday June 29th, the 3rd Dutch geothermal energy conference was held. This conference is organized every 2 years by the earth science students of the University of Utrecht. Traditionally the conference is organized in two parallel tracks: 1) geothermal heat production for direct use and 2) storage and recovery of heat in the subsurface (aquifer & borehole thermal energy storage).
Geothermal receives political attention
Prior to the Lunch Diederik Samsom gave a plenary talk about sustaining the Dutch heating and cooling system and the role of the subsurface in this transition. Samsom is a leading person in the national plans for the energy transition of the built environment heating and cooling. He is now making a plan for what he calls “de grote verbouwing”, 8 million buildings with sustainable heating and cooling in 2050. It starts to sink in more and more in The Hague: geothermal energy is a crucial component to meet this goal! His main message: it needs to be safe(r), cheaper, better and more efficient. The plans they make also take account for finanancial and societal aspects, but strongly relies on innovation coming from science and research. Good that we are already working on that, but we not progressing fast enough according to Samsom.
The red line in the storage session was upscaling. I had a talk on my research on how to sustainably accommodate as much ATES systems as possible. In this talk I could go in more depth in PhD research on ATES planning. Other talks were on ATES at UU-campus, BTES in busy areas. Ton Timmermans gave a presentation on efficient and high quality filling of BTES boreholes, needed for the large required growth of these systems. Joris Koorneef from TNO gave a status up-date on HT-ATES in NL, were he also referred to work that I carry out together with Niels Hartog at KWR, and the project that we will start shortly together with TNO.