Zeeland: Hot and Cold


Thermal heat from surface water

The consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly clear. Partly due to the long coastlines, Zeeland is faced with, among other things, sea level rise and extreme weather; but because of its location by the sea and former sea arms, there exists good opportunities for the energy transition. The combination of available space, the enormous wind potential and the most sunshine hours in the Netherlands ensures that the government also looks at Zeeland as a region where a lot of electricity can be generated. In addition, the region has an additional asset in its hands due to the invisible but enormous heat potential in the ubiquitous surface water. The possibility of an electricity and heat supply based on surface water gives the region the opportunity to be at the forefront of the energy transition.

In order strive for a fully sustainable energy system in 2050 without sacrificing the landscape quality and tranquility in the province of Zeeland (and hence its social support), we decide to fully invest in collective heat supplies for households in this perspective of the future.
We deliberately did not opt ​​for a vision with, for example, floating solar panels, but rather for a measure with a major climate impact- having most CO2 reduction- combined with a low spatial impact.
Because there is no proven geothermal potential (geothermal heat) in Zeeland in the subsurface, electric heating of households is a good option. However, without a collective approach, there is a risk that residents will purchase cheap but noisy electric outdoor air/ water heat pump on a large scale. This type of heat pump can considerably disrupt the peace and space in the province. An alternative is the water/ water heat pump fed by thermal energy (heat) from surface water. The basic temperature of the water (± 12°C) is increased using this type of heat pump. As a result, less electricity is required to achieve comfortable room temperatures. For example, the installation of collective heating systems can prevent an additional electricity requirement in the form of wind turbines. The fact that this requires additional investments in, for example, source networks to distribute the heat from surface water, is accepted by the province and society in this future perspective.

ir. Marco Vermeulen, ir. Joost van der Waal

in cooperation with
Stedin Groep
TNO, innovation for life

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