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New partnership plans geothermal development in Fribourg, Switzerland

Cathedral in Fribourg, Canton of Fribourg/ Switzerland (source: flickr/ pedrocaetano, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 16 Jul 2019

A new joint venture with the involvement of the Canton of Fribourg plans the development of a geothermal project in Fribourg, Switzerland.

The new company gpfr, for deep geothermal Fribourg in Switzerland, seeks to develop geothermal energy from 3000 meters deep.

The Canton of Fribourg and the energy company Groupe E are joining forces in the field of geothermal energy. They have announced the creation of the company gpfr (pour géothermie profonde Fribourg), which will seek to develop geothermal energy from 3000 meters deep.

The goal is to locally produce heat and electricity, as announced by the two partners. Geothermal energy has significant development potential in renewable energy and can contribute “significantly” to the objectives of cantonal and national energy policies.

The joint venture can count on a share capital of CHF 1 million (around USD 1 million). It is 70% owned by Group E, in which the Canton of Fribourg controls 80%, with a minority shareholding in Neuchâtel (Viteos, State and municipalities). The remaining shares are in hand of the canton of Fribourg (30%).

Studies that analysed the geothermal potential were started in 2005 in the canton of Fribourg, and in 2011 with regard to deep geothermal energy. Federal support for the development of geothermal energy of medium and great depth ensures a subsidy of 60%, so the release by the companies.

The support covers both the initial phase of geophysical prospecting and the study of the physical characteristics of the Earth, as well as drilling exploration and development. For gpfr, the next step is the completion of the prospecting phase including the monitoring of natural seismicity.

It is estimated that the project will have to drill to depths of up to 3,000 meters.

Source: AGEFI