Work Package 1: Geo-energy

Academic research partners: University of Bern, University of Lausanne, University of Geneva, University of Neuchâtel, Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Hochschule Rapperswil

Cooperation partners: Federal Office of Topography (swisstopo), Alstom, Geo-Energie Suisse, Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS)

Research objectives
The overarching research goals of work package 1 are grouped into four tasks:

  • Task 1.1 “Resource exploration, assessment and characterization” focuses on an improved understanding and characterization of possible geothermal and carbon capture and storage (CCS) resources in the Swiss underground.
  • Task 1.2 “Reservoir modeling and validation” develops and uses numerical and experimental methods to quantify the thermal, hydraulic, rock mechanical, and geochemical processes acting in deep reservoir engineering.
  • Task 1.3 “Pilot & Demonstration projects” works towards the implementation of large-scale, in situ experimental projects in deep underground laboratories and actual reservoir rocks at depth.
  • Task 1.4 “Data infrastructure” develops databases and user interfaces that allow an integration and smooth retrieval of different data about the Swiss underground as well as related information.

The full, detailed list of research questions has been collected in the Deep Geothermal Energy technology Roadmap. SCCER-SoE has hired a significant number of highly qualified researchers who initiated all the planned research and development activities in the identified critical areas of the roadmap.

Much of the data acquisition and research is pertinent to both geothermal and CO2 storage applications. Therefore, no strict division of research is planned for the 2013 to 2016 phase. During the second phase (2017 to 2020), research will be divided as attention focuses on the separate pilot and demonstration projects.

SCCER-SoE geo-energy research is well coordinated and integrated with a large number of related activities across Switzerland (e.g., large-scale projects of CCES-CCEM (GEOTHERM-2), SFOE (GEOSIM, GEOBEST), SNF (SINERGIA COTHERM) and other funding frameworks);, as well as with European and international programs (IEA, EERA-JPGE, IPGT, EC FP7, Interreg and Horizon2020).