Welcome to the Geothermal energy research programme of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE)
By contrast, hydrothermal sources are only available in certain areas. Depending on the temperature of the water, the heat can be directly utilised for heating purposes, and in particularly favourable circumstances it can also be used for the production of electricity. Due to the very low number of implemented projects to date, there is a substantial need for research and development here.
The third category – the technology of enhanced geothermal systems – has a great deal of potential in Switzerland. Research projects have thus been in progress for a number of years, and these culminated in an initial pilot project: Deep Heat Mining in Basel. The involvement of Swiss researchers in the European enhanced geothermal systems project in Soultz-sous-Forêts (Alsace, France) is another important development in this area. The extraction of heat from rock layers 5,000 metres below the surface is an enormous challenge and requires an extremely broad range of know-how.