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Federal support for the geothermal project in Riehen, Switzerland

City of Riehen (Basel Stadt), Switzerland (source: municipality)
Alexander Richter 10 Jan 2020

The planned geothermal heat project by heating cooperation company Wärmeverbund Riehen AG in Riehen (canton of Basel-Stadt) has received federal funding for early geophysical studies.

The federal government of Switzerland is supporting the geothermal project planned for the heating cooperation company Wärmeverbund Riehen AG in Riehen (canton of Basel-Stadt) with a contribution to geothermal exploration of CHF 1.2 million (around USD 1.2 million). The funds will allow for geophysical studies to determine the extent of the Riehen geothermal reservoir. In case of positive results, the planned drilling operations will be carried out, which in the fortunate case will allow to double the amount of geothermal energy available and thus save another 6,000 tons of CO2 per year.

Through the exploration that will take place in the Riehen region (Basel Stadt), the extension of the geothermal reservoir, used since 1994, will be investigated to a depth of about 1500 meters and thus the foundations for new drilling will be created. From 2018, the CO2 law provides for the promotion of the direct exploitation of geothermal energy for the production of heat, with the ultimate aim of reducing the CO2 emissions of buildings. Wärmeverbund Riehen AG intends to further exploit the local geothermal potential and thus introduce more renewable heat into the network, which already serves more than 8000 inhabitants.

The application for a contribution for geothermal exploration was carefully examined by a group of experts commissioned by the Federal Office of Energy (SFOE). The experts certified the systematic nature of the design and positively evaluated the choice of the designers to carry out the prospecting with innovative methods that will allow to contain the costs. Given the expert opinion and given the importance of both the direct exploitation of geothermal energy for the thermal supply and the reduction of CO2 emissions, the SFOE has now awarded the Wärmeverbund Riehen AG company a contribution for the geothermal exploration of CHF 1,2 million francs. Payment will be made gradually according to the progress of the project.

Source: Corriere del Ticino