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 geoenergies 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.