Geo-energy (Work Package 1)

The mission of the geo-energy activities in work package 1 is to support the goals of the Energy Strategy 2050 by developing technologies that will allow to generate roughly 4.4 TWh of electricity per year. The most promising route for geothermal energy power production in Switzerland is through deep Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). In order to extract the heat in crystalline rocks at a depths of 4 to 6 km, a network of interlinked fractures shall be produced by hydraulic stimulation, effectively creating a geothermal heat exchanger in the underground. Fundamental knowledge of this process is being acquired at the Deep Underground (DUG) lab facilities in Grimsel and soon in Bedretto. Further experience will be gained within the Haute-Sorne project of Geo-Energie Suisse. An array of experimental and modelling activities is carried out to support this goal.

The supply of geothermal energy for direct heating and interim heat storage in aquifers have received attention as a means to avoid and minimize CO2 emissions from buildings. To support this development, the SCCER-SoE has expanded its scope with a new a dedicated Task 1.3. It will participate in a major programme of the Canton of Geneva on the potential for direct hydrothermal heat use and storage, utilizing this opportunity as a stepping stone towards developing geothermal power production in Switzerland.

Research objectives

Activity overview

To gain a brief overview of the key goals as well as past, ongoing, and planned activities of the SCCER-SoE in the field of geo-energy, please take a look at the following illustration: