Our work

Exploring the Power of Ultra Deep Geothermal Energy

Meeting Dutch and European climate and energy targets will require a wide range of sustainable energy sources. Together with private and public partners, TNO has long been exploring the potential of Ultra Deep Geothermal (UDG) energy as a possible alternative to fossil fuels. With targeted programs and extensive research, we aim to uncover the possible benefits that UDG energy may provide.

Contributing to development

Geothermal energy and heat storage (©TNO)

Geothermal energy is considered to be an interesting renewable energy source. The higher temperatures available from UDG make it a potentially viable option for power generation and direct use. It may therefore reduce the dependency on fossil fuels, specifically in the processing industry. The challenge is to determine how to harness the power of UDG in a techno-economic, safe and responsible way.

To fully explore this possibility, TNO contributes its advanced subsurface knowledge and methods for safe, reliable and cost-effective UDG development. We focus on mid- to long-term research projects and take an internationally leading role in our work with academic and industrial partners.

Uncovering the potential

For more than 30 years, TNO has been combining its expertise in Oil & Gas research and development with its understanding of the subsurface to explore the potential of geothermal energy. In national and international studies, TNO has been developing resource maps and tools for techno-economic feasibility studies, decision support, innovative exploration methods & techniques, production optimisation and risk assessment. Those developments continue today in studies and projects conducted around the world.

The Netherlands is one of the countries with the greatest amount of publicly available subsurface data, so is a rich resource for on-going research opportunities. TNO manages, stores and disseminates subsurface data and information for UDG exploration and production. Our detailed assessments of the subsurface help support UDG market development by reducing exploration risks. This, in turn, helps in the assessment of UDG potential and risks. TNO works closely with public and private partners to explore ways to further advance our knowledge and understanding of UDG.

Accelerating the developments

TNO is actively involved in projects around the world to help accelerate the development of UDG as a safe and cost-effective energy source. Our main activities include:

  • Developing new and innovative material solutions for well constructions and the monitoring of high-temperature well integrity, for example in the Geowell
  • Reducing exploration uncertainties for better planning and higher success rates, and lower costs and environmental impact of (Ultra Deep) Geothermal systems, such as in the IMAGE project and the UDG Green Deal.
  • Researching novel technologies that may increase the productivity of poorly performing geothermal wells, for example in the SURE project.
  • Optimising stimulation treatments and minimising environmental impacts, such as seismic events or groundwater pollution, including projects like GEISER and DESTRESS.
  • Unlocking geothermal potential and development of ‘white spots’ in the Netherlands by implementing cost-effective exploration tools in combination with innovative slim hole drilling.
  • Reducing geothermal costs by optimising demand and production with the development and implementation of seasonal storage (ATES).  
  • Aiding international partners with capacity building, and stimulating knowledge sharing about UDG and high-temperature geothermal systems in countries like Mexico, Tanzania and Indonesia.

Are you in search of data, information or expertise in the UDG energy domain? Would you like to help explore the potential of UDG as long-term renewable energy source? Contact us today to find out how you can join our collaborative effort.


Geo Energy: safe and environmentally friendly attainment of energy below the ground

The demand for natural resources such as oil and gas is growing, which is also the case in the Netherlands. At the same time it is becoming increasingly important to minimise the environmental impact... Read more

Drs. ing. Maurice Hanegraaf


Drs. ing. Maurice Hanegraaf


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