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The Swiss Canton of Vaud estimates up to 20 geothermal plants by 2050

Nyon on Lake Geneva, Switzerland (source: flickr/ patrick_nouhailler, creative commons)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 18 Jun 2019

With two geothermal projects under development in the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland, this only seems to be the start as the local government estimates that up to 20 geothermal plants could be built by 2050.

A news article today in Switzerland points to the bet that the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland is putting on geothermal energy in its future energy mix.

The government estimates that by 2050 around 20 geothermal power plants will be built in the canton. The new cadastre lists 43 communities in the Vaud Mittelland with geothermal potential.

The potential for deep groundwater utilization is estimated at 350 GWh per year based on a study of this region. “This could supply around 20,000 households with this energy source,” State Councilor Jacqueline de Quattro (FDP) said on Tuesday in Lausanne. She is pleased that the canton has significant geothermal potential and now also the means to use it.

In April, the Act on the Natural Resources of the Underground passed by the Cantonal Parliament in December came into force. «Thanks to this law, we can tackle the projects», said the Spatial Planning and Environment Director to the media.

Two projects on course

Currently, two projects are well advanced in the canton. In Vinzel far from Nyon, the project company will EnerGEO also attended by Romande Energie is involved, realize a geothermal project for 1,500 households by 2021/2022.

It is planned to drill down to a depth of 2,200 meters. This is half as deep as in Basel or St. Gallen, where boreholes caused several smaller earthquakes in 2006 and 2013, respectively.

The project of the company AGEPP in Lavey-les-Bains in the Rhone Valley deep groundwater to be pumped from the very permeable rock and used for permanent power supply of around 900 households. Commissioning is planned for 2020.

These two geothermal projects are the first two in Switzerland to receive a federal financial contribution. Others are still in the development phase.

Source: Bluewin