Exploratory study on the (economic) value of Drechtsteden region subsurface resources

This report analyses the (economic) value of subsurface resources in the Drechtsteden region, examining both the current interplay of these resources with the regional economy and the future social costs and benefits of their sustainable management. 

The report shows that the subsurface, particularly underground construction, makes a significant contribution to the regional economy in terms of number of enterprises, added value, production value and employment. The Municipality of Dordrecht has set out future policies in this area in a ‘Subsurface Vision’, and this was used to calculate the potential economic benefits for four themes:

  • renewable energy 
  • water adaptation 
  • urban underground infrastructure 
  • former landfills. 

These benefits were estimated by comparing scheduled policises on each theme (‘project alternatives’) with the situation with policy unchanged (‘business as usual’). In the case of subsurface renewable energy (geothermal and heat/cold storage), potential costs were also calculated, while for the other three themes only potential benefits were considered. The study shows that development of the renewable energy options is economically most appealing, in terms of both energy efficiency and reduced dependence on energy sourced outside the region.