City of Geneva starts exploration drilling for geothermal heating project

Geneva, Switzerland (source: flickr/ Dennis Jarvis, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 16 Nov 2017

The city of Geneva in Switzerland sees the start of drilling for an ambitious heating project that aims to reduce consumption of oil and gas for heating in the city.

The city of Geneva has today started exploration drilling fo an ambitious geothermal project. Located in the canton of Geneva in Switzerland, the project is drilling a first well in Satigny at an expected depth to 650 metres.

At this depth, it is expected to find water at a temperature of between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius, as announced by the developer  water occurrence with a temperature between 25 and 35 degrees is expected, as the Industrial Company Geneva (SIG) announced. The drilling is carried out in cooperation with the canton of Geneva.

The drilling is expected to progress 10 meters per day and take a total of five months. These costs amount to CHF1.5 million (ca. $1.55 million). Depending on the outcome of the pilot project in Satigny, three to six more such wells will be drilled over the next three years.

This should prepare for the second phase of the project. Before drilling, the soil in the canton of Geneva was sampled for two years using sound waves to detect underground water resources.

In the coming years, Geneva wants to advance geothermal energy at medium depths between 500 and 1,500 meters. The use of geothermal energy is part of the cantonal energy strategy, which aims to reduce the consumption of heating oil and gas in Geneva by 53 percent by 2035.

Geothermal energy will cover around 20 percent of the heating demand in the canton of Geneva. The wells in Geneva do not nearly reach the depths that led to earthquakes in Basel and St. Gallen .