Exploration licence

A geothermal exploration licence is granted by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy pursuant to the Mining Act. This licence is the first step towards actual exploration activities. 
As long as a natural or legal person has an exploration licence under the Mining Act, others are not allowed to conduct exploration activities in the licence area. The exploration licence is a market organization licence.
For the actual execution of physical activities, such as drilling, in addition to an exploration licence an environmental licence is required.
This guideline (in Dutch) describes the procedure, method of submitting and the required content of an application for an exploration licence.

Geological study

The geological (preliminary) study can be used as a geotechnical foundation for the application of an exploration licence. The report generally provides an overview of the geology in and around the area applied for. At least it describes the potential reservoirs, what data has been used, the potential risks that could be encountered in the exploration of geothermal energy and when possible the expected geothermal power.
The requirements for a geological study for geothermal projects that are used for the application of a SDE+ and RNES can be used (however it is not mandatory) as a guideline when making the geological (preliminary) study. A description of what the geological study must at least include is described in Article 1.3.1. of the Mining Regulations.
TNO-AGE evaluates the provided documentation and advises the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.