Case study 3 – Midden-Holland Region

Municipalities have asked ODMH to make a regional plan for the underground, in which focus should be given to all possibilities of underground energy-systems, in relation to other underground uses and related to above ground uses and plans.

odmhUnderground thermal storage is one of the most often used sustainable energy options for buildings in the Netherlands. Underground aquifers are used to store excess heat in the summer for utilization in the winter. It can also supply cooling demands for larger buildings. This technology has a large potential for replication and particular interest as we try to evolve towards “zero energy” concept for buildings , which in many cases cannot be achieved at single building level  (for example because of solar access or historical preservation issues). As a result more and more building sites want to make use of this resource. This is starting to cause conflicts of interest between parties, and also between use of underground for thermal storage and for other purposes as well as conflicts with environmental quality demands (ground water protection, drinking water supply, soil protection, soil pollution risks). Therefore a special underground plan should ensure that this resource is utilized in the most efficient way in future developments.  Such a regional plan for the underground can be viewed as a very good, innovative extension to traditional urban planning, which is focused on the on the earth’ surface.

Municipalities have asked ODMH to make a regional plan for the underground, in which focus should be given to all possibilities of underground energy-systems, in relation to other underground uses and related to above ground uses and plans. It is expected that this approach will be useful for many more regions which have a potential for underground thermal storage. In the Netherlands this are quite a lot of regions, and there will undoubtedly be regions in other countries as well. This means the replication potential of this case study is quite high.

Together with involved civil servants and third party stakeholders the two maps (under and above ground) will be reviewed, up-dated and integrated. In the meantime the relevant stakeholders will be identified and involved. The concept 3D map will be explained to end discussed with the management and councils of the regional municipalities and the board of the regional institute. Based on the comments improvements will be made. The plan will be officially established by the regional board and by the different municipality boards. Furthermore ODMH will offer its expertise to other SUSREG project partners and also regions that would like to learn about this concept.

ODMH

Background: Municipality of Zuidplas

Objectives

  • Layer planning; use of (sub)soil in spatial planning
  • Creation of new insights in soil energy projects
  • Creating maps of the subsoil
  • Educate e.g. spatial planners and city councils

Challenges

  • Links with national plans: Governmental objectives on use of subsoil and energy transition