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How geothermal enters daily life – interviews with winners of competition in Switzerland

Geothermal caviar (source: video screenshot, Geothermal Pills/ YouTube)
Alexander Richter 5 Jun 2020

Communicating on how geothermal can enter our daily lives was topic of a recent competition launched by Geothermie Suisse. The winners launched Geothermal Pills with interesting stories of geothermal beer and caviar.

The winners of a competition by Geothermie Suisse on “Communicat(ing) on how geothermal energy enters our daily life” were interviewed by the organization.

The winners of this first project competition by Geothermie Suisse are: Luca Guglielmetti and Stéphane Matteo. In the interview, they explain how their idea for a project came about and why they want to address a wider audience with their “Geothermal Pills”.

Luca Guglielmetti is a senior research scientist in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Geneva.

Stéphane Matteo is currently communication manager for platinn, the innovation platform in western Switzerland, while working as an independent videographer.

Videos below – in English also on YouTube, and in French on Vimeo (beer video, caviar video) and with German subtitles (beer video, caviar video)

What are “Geothermal Pills”? What idea is behind it?

“Geothermal Pills” are a way to communicate to the general public about geothermal energy without going too far into the technical aspects, but rather focusing on how this geothermal energy enters our daily lives. The idea is to reach the general public by producing short clips, the “pills”, to explain the different aspects of geothermal energy and how everyone can benefit from its development.

You have decided to make your first two films with Tuscan beer and caviar “made in Switzerland”. Why these choices?

Who doesn’t like beer? And Tuscany? We have already been in contact with the geothermal brewery in Larderello for several years, which is why the choice of this first subject was easy. But in Tuscany, the geothermal conditions are very specific and different from what we find here. This is why, in addition to showing what can be produced with high temperatures, we wanted to show what is possible in Switzerland with geothermal resources at low temperatures. Thus, the production of caviar in Frutigen at the base of the waters of the Lötschberg tunnel has proven to be an excellent example of circular economy and enhancement of the local territory.

What other geothermal products could we imagine presenting in Switzerland?

The fact that many projects in Switzerland are underway and that many more will start soon will bring us a wide range of topics. The potential of Switzerland is very important and we are convinced that people are impatient to learn more about geothermal energy in Switzerland. We think that the idea of ??creating short clips is attractive to the public who are also interested in knowing more about a geothermal project “from the resource to the fork”. With each project, there is always an interesting story to tell!

How did this idea develop from its conception to its realization?

We had this idea a few years ago, when we were both in Neuchatel to do our doctorate. The basic idea was to communicate on geothermal food, because we knew that in several countries of the world, it is used in the food chain. But it wasn’t until last year that we started to structure the idea by identifying a few potential topics to tackle. Of course, the opportunity offered by Géothermie-Suisse with the help of projects came at just the right time! We were very happy to finally have the opportunity to put our ideas into practice and launch the “Geothermal Pills”.

The first two films were part of the competition. And now what’s next?

Our idea is to set up a social media platform, regularly updated with new clips. In one to two minutes you can give an overview of what geothermal energy is, what is happening in Switzerland or in the world geothermal community. With particular regard to food geothermal energy, we would like to create a European or international project to bring together the various national associations and operators of geothermal energy and replicate the model that we have developed for caviar and beer with other applications such as vegetables, flowers, cooking methods… In short, all the geothermal applications that highlight the contribution that this energy can make to the global energy transition.

Source: Geothermie Suisse