Davos in Switzerland betting on medium-depth geothermal resources for heating

A view to Davos from Jakobshorn, Switzerland (source: flickr/ uncle-leo, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 2 Feb 2020

Over the past 10 years, the city of Davos in the Swiss Alps, has been looking at how to utilise medium-depth geothermal resources for heating purposes, now heating of the local congress center and ice hockey stadium with plans for expansions of existing district heating.

The municipality of Davos relies on indigenous and renewable energy as well as energy efficiency. An important part of the political energy strategy is the increased use of geothermal energy.  The city of Davos in Switzerland should be known as host city to the World Economic Forum every year and as a popular skiing destination in the winter.

Over ten years ago, the municipality of Davos set up a medium-depth geothermal energy project. With the aim of transferring knowledge and expertise Over ten years ago, the municipality of Davos decided to collect fundamental information on the local potential of medium depth geothermal energy in order to lay the foundations for future exploitation projects, so an article by Swiss company GEOTEST earlier this week. GEOTEST SA was strongly involved in this project, from its design to the development and monitoring of the geothermal reservoir via the seismic study of the basement.

On a mandate from the municipality of Davos and with the financial support of the Graubünden Nature and Environment Office and the Federal Energy Office, partners from the start, the knowledge thus acquired has been compiled in a report. With the help of this report, the municipalities and engineering offices concerned can easily get an idea of ??the work carried out and the methods used. They will also benefit from valuable information on the results to be expected and the costs to budget for similar projects.

The lessons learned during this decade are now available in the form of a report (in German).

In order to clarify the possibilities of exploiting geothermal energy at medium depth, a number of studies have been carried out in the last ten years in the Schiahorn aquifer. The pilot project was taken up very early in the Davos energy policy program as the City of Energy as “Analysis of geothermal resources at the Davos congress center”. In the meantime, among other things, the Davos ice hockey stadium and the congress center are partly heated by geothermal energy. In addition, an existing district heating network will be extended this year and will now be supplied with geothermal resources.

Within the framework of the pilot project, a number of methods were applied and experience gained. The purpose of this report is to collect and evaluate the results and experiences of the essential methods applied. This makes them available to the specialized public interested in planning and carrying out similar geothermal projects in the Alpine region.

Source: Geothermie Suisse/ Geothermie Schweiz, GeoTest