Making the most of underground energy sources

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So many issues are still uncertain in the transition to sustainable heat. What will the demand be for heat in the future? Where will a heat network be built? Which innovative technologies will be available, and when? There’s no doubt that some basic principles will change in the course of the transition. But how can you nevertheless draw up a solid source strategy, where you determine which sources to use and where?

The municipality of Zwolle, a national pioneer in its vision and approach to the underground, has opted to establish an independent basis for the availability of underground energy sources. Whenever changes occur in its heat transition plans, the municipality can always reuse this basis in reassessing those plans.

Witteveen+Bos creates a comprehensible and complete picture of the total potential of various underground technologies such as thermal storage, geothermal energy and the storage of residual heat. We achieve this by creating a single geological model from ground level to a great depth, showing which layers hold the potential for heat generation or storage. For each district we then combine existing models and potential studies into potential maps of the various underground technologies. Here we take a realistic layout into account, along with restrictions such as drilling-free zones. We produce what we call ‘menus’ to provide guidance in determining the optimal arrangement of underground energy sources, offering insights into the potential of various combinations of energy technologies per district. Infographics and fact sheets make this information comprehensible for all stakeholders, from administrators to residents, in the source strategy.