In the Netherlands unique research is ongoing in the field of Geo Energy which is performed in research groups at universities, applied research institutes and industrial departments. The specific research projects are directed to different subsurface applications such as geothermal energy, storage of (sustainable) energy and production of natural gas, whereas the projects take place in different settings with respect to funding programs and stakeholders. For example, among research currently executed one finds research performed with government as main stakeholder and funding supplier, but also one will find research projects executed for one or more industrial organizations and with industrial funding only or with funding being a mix of industrial funding and governmental subsidy.
Dutch Topsector policy
One of the important funding programs for Geo Energy research is provided via the so-called Topsector policy of the Dutch government as established in 2012. This policy aims to stimulate the Dutch knowledge position in specific fields (so-called topsectors) and to come to public-private partnerships where companies and research groups cooperate on innovation and knowledge development. One of these topsectors is the Topsector Energy, which consists of several themes (often referred to as TKI’s), one of which is New Gas. The theme of New Gas is further subdivided in program lines, where one of these program lines is on Geo Energy.
Dutch Geo Energy research within and outside Topsector Energy
These webpages present the research that is taking place within the Topsector Energy’s program line on Geo Energy, but also intends to give a complete overview of all other research on Geo Energy that is taking place within the Netherlands including the different available funding sources. During 2018 the Topsector Energy’s program line on Geo Energy re-defined, with many stakeholders, its roadmap. In this process it was identified by several of the stakeholders that many research projects with a Geo Energy scope are being executed via different funding sources/programs and that an overview of all this research is lacking. Furthermore, it was identified that an overview could serve several purposes such as:
- - avoidance of overlap between research projects and programs and possibly stimulate collaboration and sharing of research results between projects
- being an entry point for industry and other stakeholders for information on what research is going on and what research outcomes are (becoming) available
- guidance for research groups on what funding programs are appropriate for new specific research projects.
Topsector Program line on Geo Energy
The program line on Geo Energy as part of the Topsector Energy’s theme on New Gas has the ambition to develop and implement innovative knowledge and technology to contribute to a Safe and sustainable use of the subsurface for energy production and storage. Important boundary conditions for the research taking place within this program line concern contributing to establishing a minimum impact on environment and a maximum safety of operations, and contributing to the transition to a sustainable energy system. Examples of subsurface applications subject of research taking place are production of geothermal energy, production of natural gas and storage of (sustainable) energy. The programming of research takes place along the following 7 roadmap themes:
- 1. Geological Characterization
2. Energy Reservoir Development
3. Drilling and Completion
4. Well & and Flowline Management
5. Energy System Integration and Infrastructure Re-use
6. Abandonment and Decommissioning
7. Societal Demands and Public Support
Further details on these roadmap themes and the link with those of other funding programs are provided here.