ETH Zurich is a leading international university for technology and the natural sciences and regularly appears at the top of international rankings as one of the best universities in the world. Founded in 1855, ETH Zurich today has more than 18 000 students from over 110 countries, including 3 900 doctoral students.
The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) is the leading institution in seismology in Switzerland and the federal office responsible for earthquake monitoring, alerting and hazard assessment. On the national level the SED is closely involved in the coordination of integrated risk management for natural hazards as well as the monitoring, characterization and regulatory aspects of induced seismicity. The SED as well as the professorship of Seismology and Geodynamic have been and are leading partner in several European and international projects in the field of seismology, induced seismicity risk and multi-risk, and have a leading role in the design and development of next generation seismological hazard and risk assessment as well as data sharing technology. SED hosts the portal of EFEHR, the European Facility for Earthquake Hazard and Risk (www.efehr.org), providing access to information on seismic Hazard and Risk harmonized across Europe.
In addition ETH leads a new national competence center on deep geothermal energy (SCCER-SoE) which researches, develops, and tests new technologies and optimizes existing infrastructures for energy production in the future. Working in close cooperation with the industry, the SCCER-SoE creates innovative research units, establishes technology platforms, invests in laboratories, and coordinates national as well as international research projects. These are financed by a number of different sources.
Geo-Energie Suisse AG (GES) was founded in 2010 and recognized as the Swiss Centre of Competence for Deep Geothermal Energy for power and heat production. Instead of each utility company having an inhouse geothermal expert group and owning projects, they share, through GES, the resources, risks and the costs for the development of deep geothermal energy production.
Geo-Energie Suisse AG is based in Zürich and employs eight specialists from the field of geology, geophysics, environmental and drilling engineering. Geo-Energie Suisse has strong partnerships and share ongoing development projects with the Swiss federal institute of technology in Zürich (ETH Zürich) and the CREGE, the geothermal laboratory of the University of Neuchâtel. GES is also closely associated to SCCER-SoE, the Swiss Competence Centre on Supply of Electricity that develops fundamental research and innovative solutions in the domains of geo-energies and hydro-power. Because hydrothermal resources for electricity production from deep geothermal energy are limited in Switzerland, Geo-Energie Suisse AG decided to focus on the development of EGS-pilot-projects within the crystalline basement. If it is possible to create a heat exchanger in the crystalline rocks of the basement, that technology can be used nearly everywhere in Switzerland, in Europe and worldwide. The first times such big permeable systems could be created were in the Soultz-sous-Forêtm, EGS pilot project in France, and in Basel at a depth of 5 000 m. In the latter case, unexpectedly strong induced seismicity lead to the abandonment of the project.
The target of Geo-Energie Suisse AG is to refine the technology based on the experience gained in the Basel project. Because most of the shareholders of Geo-Energie Suisse AG were also involved in Basel they pooled the data and know-how gained in Basel within the GES competence center. Based on the data of the Basel Deep Heat Mining Project a new concept that reduces the risk of induced seismicity and promises a better return of energy has been developed. In addition the acceptance by the local population and the authorities play an important role.
GFZ is the national German Research Centre for Earth Sciences, which combines all solid earth science fields including geodesy, geology, geophysics, mineralogy and geochemistry in a multidisciplinary scientific and technical environment. The International Centre for Geothermal Research (ICGR) focuses its research on the environment-friendly and economically sustainable utilization of geothermal energy for district heating and electrical power generation. Special emphasis has been laid on a concept addressing the generation or engineering of geothermal reservoirs to meet the requirements of sustained fluid-flow rates in various geological settings.
The aim of the Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research – Supply of Electricity (SCCER-SoE) is to carry out innovative and sustainable research in the areas of geo-energy and hydropower.
The SCCER-SoE researches, develops, and tests new technologies and optimizes existing infrastructures for energy production in the future. Working in close cooperation with the industry, the SCCER-SoE creates innovative research units, establishes technology platforms, invests in laboratories, and coordinates national as well as international research projects. These are financed by a number of different sources.
In 2017, the second phase of the SCCER-SoE started and will last until 2020. During this time, the SCCER-SoE expands its focus on seven pilot and demonstration projects, conducted with industry partners, to validate the technologies and proposed solutions.