Dr.ir. J.M. (Martin) Bloemendal

Dr.ir. J.M. (Martin) Bloemendal



The subsurface plays a crucial and growing part in sustainably cooling and heating buildings. My 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.

I am a specialist in Underground Thermal Energy Storage (UTES) and work on various studies on utilization of sustainable heat by means of seasonal storage in the subsurface. In these endeavors I always considers the system as a whole, which means not only the subsurface system, but also consumers and the required facilities to utilize the available heat. That is why I also have extensive knowledge of related and complementary techniques (ranging from well/borehole drilling and completion technology to heat pump, building facilities and control). My focus is not on the technical aspects only; I also work 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. At TU Delft I work on various projects to further develop UTES and teach courses at various levels and faculties.

Next to my appointment at Delft University of Technology I have leading position on UTES at TNO, the Dutch Geological Survey. The combination TNO-TU Delft allows me to develop proof of concept of new ideas at the university and subsequently implement these in pilot projects with industry in TNO projects (bridging science to practice).

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) and Borehole heat exchangers are, therefore, among the important geothermal energy technologies needed to utilize sustainable heating and cooling systems of buildings – and in particular, provides cheap and large scale storage. Both, high quality research and education as well as large scale adoption of UTES technology are needed during the coming decades at national and international level.

Scope of research:

  • Optimal and sustainable use of subsurface
  • Integration of UTES (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

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