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Scale-up from The Hague contributes to Westland geothermal project

Februari 5, 2024

Geothermal energy plays an important role in the energy transition. Also in Westland, where a geothermal well will be drilled in early 2024. The Hague-based scale-up WellDecommissioned contributes to project planning and analysis with its software. Rabo Impactfonds supports the scale-up with a donation of €25,000.

GAIA Energy will drill a geothermal well in Westland in early 2024, after which heat can be extracted from underground to heat homes, buildings, and greenhouses. “With our software, we help GAIA Energy plan the project as efficiently as possible, reduce safety risks, and keep costs as low as possible,” explained WellDecommissioned founder Marc Nijmeijer.

Know the risks

Thanks to AI, WellDecommissioned’s software is getting smarter and the analysis more sophisticated. It works as follows: GAIA Energy uploads its data on the concept design, detail design, and execution phases of the drilling project to the software tool. The software tool then compares it with other – similar – projects. ‘The software identifies possible improvements. This can be about the planning, design, and execution of the project. Our analysis can thus yield cost savings of up to 15 to 30 percent.’

Contributing to the energy transition

GAIA Energy and WellDecommissioned first ran a pilot together to investigate whether the software was also suitable for the drilling project. Nijmeijer: ‘Initially, in fact, we developed the software tool for decommissioning oil and gas fields. As society switches to sustainable energy sources, there are millions of oil and gas wells worldwide that need to be filled. We developed the tool to contribute to those cleanup projects, saving society and future generations from unnecessarily high costs. With the geothermal project with GAIA Energy, we are expanding our energy transition efforts.’

Down to the backyard

WellDecommissioned receives 25,000 euros from the Rabo Impact Fund for its geothermal project in Westland. The scale-up will use the donation to further develop its software and process more data. Rabobank account manager Dyon Veenboer supports startups and scale-ups in their growth. “WellDecommisioned is committed to the energy transition and Rabobank is happy to support that,” he explains. “Not only with our donation but also with our knowledge and network. With its software, WellDecommissioned lowers the threshold for contractors to carry out geothermal projects. The scale-up also thinks within Rabobank’s network – with other start-ups and scale-ups as well – about solutions to bring renewable energy sources to people’s backyards. In this way, geothermal can make an increasing contribution to the energy transition in our region and beyond.”

Connecting factors

Currently, there are few geothermal projects in the Netherlands. Nijmeijer hopes this will change soon. “For many companies, these projects are not yet an interesting business case because of the high costs. With our software, these projects could possibly be off.” This is another reason why the donation from the Rabo Impact Fund is important, he says. “Besides being a financier, Rabobank is also one of the connecting factors in the energy transition thanks to its network.”

About the Rabo Impact Fund

As a cooperative bank, Rabobank invests part of its profits in social and/or innovative projects of associations, foundations, and organisations in the local area. Preferably projects that have a major social impact and are in line with themes that Rabobank supports: Financially Healthy Living, Sustainable Living, Sustainable Business, Banking4Food, and initiatives that contribute to energy transition.

This article was originally published on the website of ImpactCity partner Rabobank.