Cooperating on innovation in heat storage in the subsoil

Zuid-Holland is to participate in a cooperation to research the effects of underground water storage at a high temperature. This can reduce the CO2-emissions by 50%.

To realise a climate-resilient province, the CO2 emissions have to be reduced. The greenhouse horticulture can make an important contribution by storing high-temperature water in the subsoil. This way, the use of fossil fuels and therewith, the CO2-emissions, can be reduced by 50%.


This cooperation is entered into to complete the already 2 years ongoing Koppert Cress pilot in the coming 3 years, with the aid of an innovation grant from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. This cooperation fits within the national initiative to give a new impulse to the Greenports (Greenports 3.0), in which energy is one of the main themes. Zuid-Holland is giving a tangible content to this project as the leader of this part of the Horticulture Restructuring and Development in the Greenport Westland/Oostland.


Zuid-Holland does not allow water infiltration at a temperature of over 30 degrees C, because this might have negative effects on the surroundings. Initial research has shown that these effects are not expected to have any negative outcome of Koppert Cress’ glasshouse horticultural holding, where this research takes place. This will have to be confirmed in practice. This research already started in 2015, financed by the Province of Zuid-Holland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. The collaboration has been extended, in that in addition to the Province, the businesses involved now also contribute to the research. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation also finances part of the research via its innovation programme Topconsortia for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI).

The research is being performed in collaboration with Koppert Cress’ glasshouse horticultural holding, Bart van Meurs Project development, Vyverberg Advies B.V., Brabant Water and KWR Watercycle Research. Monitoring the possible effects of the heat storage and the determination of the CO2-emission reduction are important parts of the work.   KWR will coordinate this project and provide the monitoring reports. The research parties are applying for a grant from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation for the implementation of the entire project. The Province has pledged a €50.000 subsidy for the project.


The results of this research at expected in early 2020. The initial research shows that in comparison with the situation without HTO (high-temperature water storage) at least 50% of the CO2-emission reduction can be realised. The research will also follow the dispersal of the warm water in the subsoil, Which will be infiltrated at a depth of at least 40 meters. The heat is not expected to spread to the water package higher up, at a depth of approx. 25 meters. Finally, the chemistry and the microbiology in the ground water will be monitored. These could change because of the raise in temperature, but the initial research also showed that the expected changes in the ground water are limited. In case of positive results of this pilot, the Province would like the collaboration of the parties to be continued after 2020.