With several projects underway and others that have ended in failure, medium-depth geothermal energy is closely monitored in Switzerland. If it accumulates the good points, this process is also difficult to carry out and raises certain criticisms.
Local, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and inexpensive for consumers, medium-depth geothermal energy seems to be a ready-made solution in times of energy shortage.
The Confederation is counting on it a lot in its Energy Strategy 2050, because it could potentially replace Russian gas in heating homes.
In French-speaking Switzerland, two ongoing projects are currently being closely scrutinized, that of Vinzel (VD), led by the semi-public company EnergéÔ, and that of the private market gardening company Stoll Groupe in Montagny-près-Yverdon (VD). They have each invested more than 15 million for their medium-depth geothermal projects.
A difficult development
But the development of medium-depth geothermal energy is difficult. The investments to drill the wells are very important and, sometimes, there is not enough hot water. It is a risk to take, judge Roland Stoll, director of Stoll Group, questioned Monday in the emission of the RTS basik.
And to add: “It was important to see for tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, for future generations, and we must not be afraid. We must, my faith, take risks, that is the key word of an entrepreneur, otherwise nothing happens.”
Several failures in Switzerland
In Cachan, in Île-de-France, almost a million inhabitants are now heated thanks to medium-depth geothermal energy, with one of the densest networks in the world.
In Switzerland, the situation is different. Mid-depth geothermal energy is only in its infancy, although the potential is enormous. In question, the various drillings which failed, in particular in Basel and Saint-Gall. More recently, a borehole in Lavey, in the canton of Vaud, failed to find enough water.
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Since 2017 and the acceptance of the Energy Strategy 2050 Act, the Confederation has financially supported geothermal projects up to 60%.