Geothermal energy, The Hague, The Netherlands

The energy building during construction © Michel Groen
The energy building during construction © Michel Groen

The Hague aims to be CO2-neutral by 2050. In this framework a geothermal project is being realised in which eventually 4,000 new and existing homes will be connected and in which 20,000 m2 of office space will also be heated. The fact that the project is being realised in an urban setting and that existing homes will be connected makes this project unique. The underground hot spring is located at a depth of approximately 2,000m, and the temperature of the pumped-up water is 75°C. The water is returned at a temperature of 30°C. The size of the geothermal power plant is 40x50m. New pipes are being laid to all the new housing developments in the southwest part of The Hague for the distribution of the warm water. To provide extra heat during cold periods, the system is provided with supplementary heating and the geothermal system is connected to the district heating system. It is expected that 80% of the city’s total demand for heat will be met by geothermal power.

Scheme of how energy is stored in the ground and can be transported from and to the nearby buildings © Aardwarmte Den Haag

Connecting existing homes to this system can occur only under certain conditions. For example, a home must be thermally isolated and air-tight. There must also be floor heating or the radiators must be suitable for the emission of heat with a low temperature. Obviously it would be most practical to connect existing homes to the geothermal network during renovation work.

Drilling process for the pipes © Michel Groen

The geothermal network/system contributes to a reduction of 70% of CO2 emissions from the connected homes. The plant can be located in an urban environment because it causes no inconvenience. There is only a small amount of noise from the pumps and steam.

The project is an initiative of three housing corporations, two energy providers and the municipality. Aardwarmte Den Haag, 2012