UM cooperates in development of sustainable heating network

The municipality of Maastricht, Maastricht University and Enpuls (part of the Enexis Group) have today signed an agreement to jointly investigate the suitability of the subsurface of the center for the development of a large-scale sustainable heating network.

The city center of Maastricht has more than 6,500 properties, including many monumental buildings, including Maastricht University. In the Climate Agreement it has been agreed that approximately one and a half million buildings must be provided with a sustainable alternative to natural gas by 2030. For the many historic buildings in the city center, a heat network, fed with residual heat from local sources, but given the size also with heat sources at Chemelot in Sittard-Geleen, would be a very suitable solution. This is evident from several recently conducted studies.

The major challenge concerns the subsurface that is very complex in the city center of Maastricht because of the many cables and pipes, and possibly also archeology. For example, there are 621 kilometers of gas pipes and 1612 kilometers of electricity cables in the ground in Maastricht.

The three parties attach great importance to sustainability and want to boost the local heat transition. They are joining forces to conduct further research and take the development of the heat network a step further. At the end of 2020 an answer to the question is expected whether the realization of a sustainable heat network is possible. Alderman Gert-Jan Krabbendam: “The research will show whether the subsurface in the city center is suitable for the construction of a heat network. If so, this offers opportunities for Maastricht to connect to Het Groene Net, the Chemelot heat network. This also fits in well with the sustainable ambitions of Maastricht University, which has large monumental buildings in the city center and would like to connect to a heating network together with the municipality. Grid operator Enpuls specializes in the complex subsurface of inner cities and the management of sustainable heat infrastructures. This partnership is a logical combination given the challenge we face: providing our historic city center with sustainable energy. ”