Geothermal energy is produced in accordance with a production plan. The production plan concerns the effects and consequences of the subsurface activities during the production of geothermal energy. In accordance with the Mining Act, a substantiated and well-documented plan must be submitted in which it is made clear how the (future) production of geothermal energy will be conducted. When the production plan is evaluated, it will also be evaluated whether the production rate and method are acceptable with regard to the safety and environment and whether the proposed measures contain sufficient guarantees to mitigate potential adverse effects of the production.
The Mining Act refers to the production plan in sections 34, 35 and 36, among others.
Temporary policy framework
A temporary policy framework was introduced on 14 November 2019, which has consequences for the processing of an application for a production licence. The temporary policy framework anticipates the planned amendment to the Mining Act, in which the licence system for geothermal heat will be adjusted so that it is more in line with practice.
With the introduction of the temporary policy framework, it is possible to apply for the approval of the production plan before the first well is drilled. The production plan is not a prerequisite for drilling, but it is required for the production of geothermal energy. To be able to complete the procedure in time, it is requested to submit the request for an approval of the production plan at least 30 weeks before the start of drilling. More information can be found in the letter on the temporary policy framework.
Although the application for approval of a production plan and the application for a production licence are two separate applications, it is requested to submit them simultaneously to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and at least 30 weeks before the start of drilling.
For the submission of the approval of a production plan under the temporary policy framework, a format for the application of a temporary production plan has been drawn up.