The Dutch government has granted TU Delft a permit to prospect for geothermal energy sources, opening up research in the field and raising the prospect of using this form of energy on the campus and in the Delft region,
The permit will contribute to the development and transfer of new knowledge and expertise, and may eventually make it possible to provide sustainable heating for campus buildings. This development chimes with the university’s ambition of creating a climate-neutral campus. TU Delft is the first university in the Netherlands to receive a geothermal exploration permit.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs has given TU Delft a permit to prospect for geothermal energy in an area of 61 square kilometres in the municipalities of Delft and Pijnacker-Nootdorp.
The principle behind geothermal energy is that heat is extracted from aquifers deep in the earth’s crust for heating buildings. The temperature in suitable layers can be between 55 and 110 ºC. TU Delft applied for the permit as part of the Delft Geothermal Project (DAP), part of the Applied Earth Sciences programme.
The aim of the programme is to do research into geothermal energy and develop teaching programmes focusing on this subject. In addition, if the warm water extracted from a depth of over 2,000 metres can eventually be used to provide heat its buildings, the university could potentially save 5 million cubic metres of natural gas per year.
The university is in discussions with the energy companies Eneco and Energie Beheer Nederland about building and operating a geothermal system.