Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Netherlands: Geothermal District Heating Can Help Dutch Replace Gas

A Revolution: The Netherlands Kisses Gas Goodbye, But Will It Help the Climate? (Energy Collective)

Revolution in gas country the Netherlands: the Dutch government wants all residential buildings to be off gas in 2050. The objective is to reduce CO2 emissions from the built environment. But does phasing out gas deliver the expected results? Eline van den Ende spoke to experts and concludes that a ‘gas-less’ society makes sense only if additional measures are taken.

An alternative to the gas-fired boiler is a connection to a heating network, also called district heating. This can be waste heat from a power plant, factory or waste processing facility, but also geothermal heat.

Existing heating networks deliver heat of some 90°C to households. As part of this heat is lost in the network, the sources must be able to supply heat at 110°C. Facilities that can do this include geothermal wells and waste heat from industrial processes. 

The emission reductions that can be achieved with heating networks depend on the source of the heat. Research (Dutch link) from consultancy CE Delft from 2016 shows that a heating network can reduce CO2 emissions by 45-70% compared to a gas boiler. The biggest saving is achieved if waste heat from industry is used or geothermal heat.