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Big oil rises to Dutch geothermal challenge

The quest for clean energy to fill the gap left by declining gas production could be tailor-made for oil firms

Geothermal energy has been a niche heating and power source across Europe for decades. But the need to displace fossil fuels and clean up the energy sector has intensified the spotlight on it. A prime example is the Netherlands, where the planned closure of the Groningen gas field has sparked a search for alternative ways to heat buildings and the country's famous greenhouses. Geothermal is already a popular source of cheap, clean heating for the Netherlands' large tomato and flower-growing industry, pumping hot water from up to 4km (2.5 miles) below ground to serve greenhouses via heat networks. But now geothermal is starting to go mainstream, echoing increasing interest in the sector in n



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