Rijswijk Centre for Sustainable Geo-energy

The Rijswijk Centre for Sustainable Geo-energy (RCSG) is a unique field lab where geothermal projects can be tested at full scale. Geothermal energy could play an important role in the energy transition; in 2050, geothermal energy could provide a quarter of the Netherlands’ heat demand. To accelerate this development, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK), Energie Beheer Nederland, the province of South Holland, the municipality of Rijswijk, and TNO created the Rijswijk Centre for Sustainable Geo-energy (RCSG).

RCSG is located in Shell’s former well technology research and testing centre in Rijswijk. Companies active in the field of geothermal energy are able to make use of the advanced laboratory. All the facilities required to test and experiment with new drilling techniques and materials under high pressure and at high temperatures are present in the lab. Almost all of the Netherlands’ underground conditions can be simulated. There are only a few comparable centres in the world.

The importance of geothermal energy

The extraction of geothermal heat could play an important role in the energy transition. It is one of the most important sources of sustainable energy. In the Netherlands, we currently produce 3.5 petajoules of geothermal energy per year, an amount that must grow in the future. We expect geothermal energy to produce about a quarter (200 PJ) of our country’s total heat demand in 2050. However, much remains to be done to increase drilling efficiency. Drilling needs to become more cost-effective, with a continued focus on safety. In short, many technical innovations are needed. RCSG offers the opportunity to develop and test these innovations under the high pressure and temperature conditions that characterise the subsurface.

Accessible to the private sector

The centre is open to companies that want to experiment with (or test) new drilling techniques and materials, for geothermal energy or other sustainable applications. It gives them access to modern facilities which would otherwise be difficult or impossible for them to use. Moreover, companies do not have to invest in testing facilities themselves. The cost of such facilities is often prohibitively expensive, resulting in potentially important findings remaining unused.

Simulating reality

The centre has twenty installations covering the whole spectrum of subsurface drilling. There is a large drilling rig above an almost 400-metre-deep well, in which new materials and techniques can be tested. There are 300- and 400-tonne hydraulic presses, pressure vessels of up to 1,000 bar, and piping systems to pump and test liquids in. Underground conditions can be simulated to determine how materials and components behave under high pressure or at high temperatures at depths of several kilometres.

Interested in more information? Contact Frank van Bergen via the blue ‘mail directly’ button below.


Visiting address
Kessler Park 1, 2288 GK Rijswijk
Route via Google Maps

+31(0) 6 273 254 75