South Holland will participate in a partnership to investigate effects of storage of high temperature water in the subsoil. This means that CO2 emissions can be reduced by about 50%.

In order to realize a climate-resistant province, reduction of CO2 emission is needed. Greenhouse horticulture can make a significant contribution here by storing high temperature water in the subsoil. This will reduce fossil fuel combustion and thereby reduce CO2 emissions by about 50%.

The partnership will be undertaken to complete the already ongoing two-year pilot at Koppert Cress in the next three years with the help of an innovation subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs. This collaboration fits within the rural initiative for a new impetus for Greenports (Greenports 3.0), in which energy is one of the leading themes. South Holland itself actively contributes as an initiator of this part of the restructuring and development of horticulture in Greenport Westland/Oostland.

Infiltration of water with a temperature above 30 degrees Celsius has not been permitted by South Holland until now, as this may have adverse effects on the environment. Preliminary research shows that these effects on Koppert Cress' greenhouse horticulture company, where this research is conducted, is not expected to produce adverse effects. However, this must be tested in practice. In 2015, this research was already started with funding by the province of South Holland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The cooperation has been expanded, so that also the involved companies will contribute to the research in addition to the province. The Ministry of Economic Affairs also finances part of the research through their innovation program Top consortia for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI).

The research is now being carried out together with the greenhouse horticulture company Koppert Cress, Bart van Meurs Project Development, Vyverberg Advies B.V., Brabant Water and KWR Watercycle Research. An important part of the works involves monitoring of potential effects of storage of heat and determining the reduction of CO2 emissions. KWR will coordinate this project and provide the monitoring reports. The research parties request subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs for the execution of the entire project. For this, the province has now promised a subsidy amounting to € 50,000.

The results of this research are expected at the beginning of 2020. The preliminary investigation shows that at least 50% reduction of CO2 emissions relative to the situation without HTO (storage of high temperature water) can be achieved. The research also follows the spread of the hot water in the subsoil. It is infiltrated in the subsoil at a minimum depth of 40 meters. It is expected that the heat will not spread to the higher level water mass at about 25 meters depth. Finally, the chemistry and microbiology are followed in the groundwater. These may change due to temperature increase, but the preliminary investigation also showed that the expected changes in groundwater are low. The province would like to see the continuation of collaboration between the parties, in case of positive results of this pilot.