There are major energy savings to be achieved by making more effective use of industrial waste heat, underground storage of cold and heat, and geothermal energy. In a Climate Accord between the Dutch government and the Association of Netherlands Provincial Authorities (IPO) a pledge has been made to secure 50 PJ of that potential by 2020.
In practice it often proves far harder to get projects off the ground than on paper, though, and so IPO commissioned CE Delft to elaborate the roles that can best be played by provincial authorities in this context. To this end, all existing and promising waste-heat supply sites were first inventoried. In interviews with provincial representatives and stakeholders, problem areas and potential strategies for tackling them were then identified.
The role of provincial authorities proves to be mainly that of ‘initiator’, by systematically inventorying promising sites, for example, and by giving projects a kick-start by getting relevant parties talking. Utilisation of waste heat is an issue that has already received considerable attention from national government, through creation of the Heat Expertise Centre, for example. To complement these efforts, the government should review current legislation, particularly on groundwater (Water Act), the deep subsurface (Mine Act) and waste heat, to enable provincial authorities and others to effectively steer towards effective use of the available heat and cold potential.
IPO is using the results of the project to finalise arrangements on implementing the aforementioned Climate Accord.