Geothermal heat installation of pepper grower can continue to operate for the time being

Hoogweg Paprikakwekerijen can continue to use the geothermal heat installation next to the greenhouses in Luttelgeest for the time being. The Council of State decided this on the 22nd of August.

The grower wanted the Council of State to decide where he stood after the province of Overijssel won a case this spring concerning the lack of permits for the installation. The grower appealed against the ruling this spring and wanted a temporary injunction. The Council of State has agreed to this. Thanks to the preliminary injunction, the grower can keep the plant running for the time being without enforcement action being taken for lack of a licence.

After the ruling, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change must reconsider Hoogweg's geothermal applications in the spring. It is striking that the same province says it has no intention of shutting down the installation.

The province points, among other things, to the lack of a nature permit, which it says is important in order to map out whether the geothermal heat extraction has consequences for the National Park Weerribben-Wieden. For example, the province wants to know what the nitrogen emission of the installation is. According to a calculation made in 2018, there is 'no relevant nitrogen deposition on Natura2000 areas.'

The province has not enforced the lack of the permit. Earlier this month, the province told RTV Oost of 'a matter of principle'. After the hearing at the beginning of this month, the Council of State promised to provide the growers with clarity within two weeks.

The growers point out that stopping geothermal heat and switching to gas is 'very unfavorable' if not 'impossible,' given the current high gas prices. In addition, the growers point out that geothermal heat is more sustainable than gas. The use of the geothermal heat installation yields a gas reduction of 70%. Apart from the sweet pepper grower himself, other companies also make use of the geothermal heat.

With the Council of State's ruling on Tuesday, 23rd August, a provisional ruling has now been made.

Source: Council of State

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