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Geneva in Switzerland to proceed with exploration phase of geothermal development

Geneva, Switzerland (source: flickr/ Dennis Jarvis, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 21 Jul 2017

The geothermal project in Geneva, Switzerland is entering its exploration phase. Following initial seismic studies, the project has now sought for necessary permits for exploration drilling.

Reported this week from Switzerland, the canton of Geneve is now proceeding to the exploration phase of its geothermal GEothermie 2020 project. In the first phase of the project five drilling zones were identified and an application for authorization to continue was filed in the Official Notice (FAO) Bulletin concerning the Mandement area.

The company Industrial Services (SIG) and the State of Geneva mapped the canton for two years, thanks in particular to seismic methods such as vibrating trucks. It is now a matter of evaluation whether the information collected on the surface proves to be favourable. “As much as we get to know the geology from the surface, we are unable to determine a flow of water without drilling and pumping tests,” says cantonal geologist Jacques Martelain in the morning newspaper RTS today.

The hope is to find a very permeable zone, straddling limestones (which contain water) and a network of faults that would increase the permeability. “This may allow us to find a sufficient quantity of water to have the flows necessary for geothermal energy,” the geologist continues.

These exploratory drilling will not exceed 1,000 meters of depth. And if the results are positive, geothermal energy can then be eventually be utilised.

We are not immune to surprises, as in Basel-City, but the seismicity is relatively low in Geneva and the method used makes it possible to limit the risks. Jacques Martelain is confident: “It’s a program, it’s not just a project where you drill 4,000 meters and you see what’s going on. We begin with less deep drilling, we learn from these drilling activities, this technique, and then we will go further. ”

The ultimate goal is to heat two thirds of households in Geneva thanks to geothermal energy. But it is not for immediate: if all goes well, it will take some fifteen years.

Source: RTS Info