Dr.ir. J.M. Bloemendal


The subsurface plays a crucial and growing part in sustainably cooling and heating buildings. Martin Bloemendal’s vision is that the enormous potential of this source of renewable energy must be put to is maximum use and must be available for future generations

Martin Bloemendal is a specialist in Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) and Borehole Heat Exchanger (BHE) and works on various studies on utilization of sustainable heat by means of seasonal storage in the subsurface. Martin always considers the system as a whole, which means not only the source of heat or cooling capacity, but also consumers and the required facilities to utilize the available heat. That is why he also has extensive knowledge of related and complementary techniques (ranging from well/borehole technology to heat pump to control). He does not focus on the technical aspects only; he also works on organizational and policy-based issues concerning sustainable heating and cooling, as these are key for optimal and sustainable utilization of subsurface resources in practice.

Martin has a clear vision for the use of subsurface resources with ATES and BHE. Martin works as an assistant professor at Delft University of Technology as well as a researcher at KWR water research. At TU Delft he works on various projects to further develop ATES and BHE and he teaches courses at various levels and faculties. The combination KWR-TU Delft allows Martin to develop proof of concept of new ideas at the university and subsequently implement these in pilot projects with industry in KWR projects (bridging science to practice). Martin is also board member of the sector association BodemenergieNL, where his tasks are to manage the research agenda for ATES and BHE.


Sustainable energy has received substantial attention over the last years/decades. Heat is the largest part of the worldwide energy requirement (space heating/cooling, industry, etc.). As with many other renewable or sustainable energy sources, also with heat, the biggest challenge is dealing with the variability in the availability and demand. Heat storage is one of the major solutions to match heat availability to demand. Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) is, therefore, one of the important geothermal energy technologies needed to utilize sustainable heating and cooling systems of buildings – and in particular, provides cheap and large scale storage (see section on ‘Background ATES development’ below). Both, high quality research and education as well as large scale adoption of ATES technology are needed during the coming decades at national and international level.

Scope of research:

  • Optimal and sustainable use of subsurface
  • Integration of ATES/BHE (subsurface system) to the building facilities / district heating network (control and optimisation)
  • Well/borehole technologies (drilling, completion)
  • Spatial planning and governance/legislation
  • Potential mapping and adoption
  • Barrier analysis and solutions


  • Geo-resources for the future (AESB3110)
  • Engineering for large-scale energy conversion and storage (WB3595 / WB3580)


  • Geothermal energy (AESM1400)
  • Principles of geohydrology (CIE4420)


  • Geothermal energy module in the earth and its resources
  • Bloemendal, M., Jaxa-Rozen, M., Olsthoorn, T.N., 2018. Methods for planning of ATES systems. Applied Energy 216 (2018), 534-557.
  • Bloemendal, M., Hartog, 2018. Analysis of the impact of storage conditions on the thermal recovery efficiency of low-temperature ATES systems. Geothermics, 71C (2018) pp. 306-319.
  • Bloemendal, M., Olsthoorn, T., van de Ven, F., 2015. Combining climatic and geo-hydrological preconditions as a method to determine world potential for aquifer thermal energy storage. Science of the Total Environment 538 (2015) 621-633.
  • Bloemendal, M., Olsthoorn, T., Boons, F., 2014. How to achieve optimal and sustainable use of the subsurface for Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage. Energy Policy 66, 104-114.
  • Senior researcher ATES-BHE @ KWR water research
  • Board member BodemenergieNL: Research and development.

Martin Bloemendal

Assistant Professor

Tamara Auperlé
Betty Rothfusz

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