Deep Atlas from the city of Groningen will soon be the first company in the Netherlands able to see with a special camera whether a location is suitable for drilling to extract geothermal heat. The company was granted 38,000 euros from the Coronafund of the province of Groningen for the purchase of the so-called SWIR hyperspectral camera. With their technique, Deep Atlas contributes to sustainable energy use. With our involvement in the establishment of Deep Atlas, we at RUG Ventures are proud to be part of this development.
Sustainable geothermal heat
Geothermal heat is a sustainable energy source. Almost half of our energy consumption concerns heating and has to be converted to sustainable sources. Geothermal heat will play an important role in the energy transition, being a substitute to (fossil) natural gas. By focusing on sustainable heat and decreasing the use of fossil fuels along the way, CO2 emissions will be reduced. With the transition to geothermal heat, deep drillings are needed, which requires large investments.
Deep Atlas B.V. is a young company. They recently developed a software package to process the huge amounts of data needed to analyze the so-called short-wave infrared (SWIR) measurements. These are scans of rock samples from the deep substratum that can be analyzed on their flowability in case of (possible) drillings. The camera is used to find suitable locations to drill for geothermal heat. The company cooperates closely with the University of Groningen on this subject.
Innovative and Sustainable SMEs
The grant comes from the Regulation Innovative and Sustainable SMEs (Regeling Innovatief en Duurzaam MKB). With this regulation, the province supports innovative and sustainable projects coming out of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It concerns projects contributing to a future-proof economy. The regulation stems from the Coronafund, brought into existence to provide the province of Groningen with a boost to come out of the pandemic stronger.