Hero Image
4 October 2023 - 5 October 2023
Basel, Switzerland
connect4geothermal 2023

=> go to website Forum 2022

Summary of the forum 2022:

Energy independence and decarbonisation: contribution of geothermal energy in Switzerland's energy mix.

Rise of geothermal energy... (Photo © Geothermie-Schweiz)

With 268 participants from 7 countries, 22 exhibitors, one plenary and six parallel sessions, two panel discussions, 135 pre-arranged 1-to-1 meetings, two guided tours, three workshops and a networking dinner, the geothermal forum connect4geothermal on 28-29 September 2022 was a success with its second staging. It gave geothermal energy a face in Switzerland. This local and CO2 neutral band energy offers solutions for the energy transition, especially for heat. It can make a significant contribution to decarbonisation and energy self-sufficiency in the energy mix. The framework conditions required for this were discussed at the forum.

Marc Muller presented the energy challenges we face. (Photo © R.J. Keller)

On 28 and 29 September 2022, 268 people attended the geothermal forum connect4geothermal in Bern, of which 232 on site and 54 online. It was clearly expressed that geothermal energy can make an important contribution to the energy transition. Particularly for the heat transition, this local and CO2-neutral band energy offers alternatives to fossil fuels.

Renewable energy for heating

Alexander Richter presented the role of geothermal energy for the heat transition (Photo © R.J. Keller)

Over 50 per cent of Switzerland's total energy consumption is used to provide heat and causes 60 per cent of CO2 emissions. This is because around 60 percent of space and process heat is still generated from fossil fuels, as Nicole Lupi from the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) explained in her presentation. Climate-neutral solutions for heating energy are therefore central. The difference between the supply and demand for sustainable energy in Switzerland is glaring and stronger measures are needed than those currently available, explained Marc Müller (Impact Living). Geothermal energy has many advantages, he added, as it is locally available and can be produced with little grey energy and few critical resources. Alexander Richter (Innargi) showed that geothermal energy for direct heat consumption without heat pumps has had a growth rate of 425 % in the last 25 years. Using different examples in Denmark, he showed how this local energy is increasingly used in urban areas for heat supply in district heating networks.

Nicole Lupi presented the thermal strategy of the Swiss Confederation (Photo © R.J. Keller)

Framework conditions and communication

In order to realise the potential of geothermal energy and to increasingly integrate this natural and local energy source into the energy mix, a risk guarantee related to the uncertainties of the subsurface is required. This is part of the framework to put geothermal energy on an equal footing with other sustainable energies. This was confirmed by representatives of energy distribution companies as well as investors during a panel discussion with representatives from politics, the energy industry and finance.

Panel discussion with National Councillors Katja Christ and Bastien Girod, Ulrich Nyffenegger (Canton BE), Pascal Abbet (Groupe E), Patrick Vögeli (Eaposys and Gianni Operto (aeesuisse). (Photo © R.J. Keller)

There also needs to be more communication about the possibilities of this energy. In neighbouring countries, numerous hydrothermal geothermal plants are already in use for heating via district heating networks. In Switzerland, geothermal energy has been supplying the district heating network in Riehen (BS) for 28 years, saving millions of litres of heating oil every year. In the French-speaking part of Switzerland, several such systems are in the planning and implementation stages; in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, hardly any are yet in operation. The potential is particularly high in urban areas with a high heat density. In order to realise such projects, greater commitment to geothermal energy is necessary on the part of the authorities and politicians, argued representatives of public utilities and municipalities in another panel discussion.

Panel discussion with Evelyn Rubli (IWB), Niels Giroud (SIL), Marcel Rüegg (SIG), Reto Rigassi (Energiestadt) and Ronny Kaufmann (Swisspower). (Photo © R.J. Keller)

Projects and exchange of experiences

Olga Darazs (Federal geological commission) presented strategic considerations related to subsurface ressources (Photo © R.J. Keller)

In the parallel sessions on protecting and using the resources of the subsurface, strategies and procedures were explained on how the subsurface can be explored in order to use and protect its resources. Concrete projects were used to show how protection and use can complement each other and are not contradictory if planned appropriately. In the sessions on the access to heat and distribution, projects and experiences were shared on which approaches can be used to distribute the heat gained in the depths of the underground in neighbourhoods and cities. In the sessions on the production of electricity and storage of energy, potentials of geothermal for electricity and energy storage were explained and experiences from concrete projects were shared. Good practices for knowledge and technology transfer were developed in the three workshops on "Minimum data in exploration drilling", "Exchange of experience between collaboration and competition" and "Need for education and training for geothermal energy".


Networking and contact management in the foyer with booth from suppliers and solution providers. (Photo © R.J. Keller)

The forum is also an important platform for networking among the various stakeholders from business, authorities and science. There was space for this during the various breaks. In the foyer of the Forum, information could also be conveyed and contacts cultivated at 22 stands of suppliers and solution providers. The possibility to book appointments for personal talks in advance was actively used. 135 agreed 1-to-1 talks took place. The visit and guided tour of the Frutigen Tropical House, which draws heat from the water flowing out of the tunnel, met with lively interest. The explanations on the use of groundwater for heating in the Lorraine district heating network in Berne and the tour of the corresponding facilities were also well received

Prearranged 1to1 meeting for effective networking. (Photo © R.J. Keller)

Foto galeries

  • Preparation and registration
  • Contribution of geothermal to the energy mix
  • Panel discussion on framework conditions
  • Networking breaks
  • 1to1 meetings
  • Sessions protecting and using the underground
  • Sessions geothermal access and distribution of geothermal ressources
  • Sessions geothermal for electricity production and energy storage
  • Panel discussion geothermal for the urban environment
  • Perspectives

Presentations and video recordings

Energy supply, independency et decarbonisation: Contribution of geothermal energy
  • Opening and Welcome, Cédric Höllmüller, Geothermie-Suisse
  • Welcome Adress, Ulrich Nyffenegger, Canton Bern
  • Energy challenges in Europe and Switzerland, Marc Müller, Impact Living
  • Contribution of geothermal energy to tackle energy challenges, global trends, Alexander Richter, Innargi
  • The Swiss thermal strategy, Nicole Lupi, Federal Office of Energy FOEN

=> All presentations and recordings

Framework conditions for a business model enabling geothermal deployment to accelerate the energy transition
  • Context, Nathalie Andematten Berthoud, President Geothermie-Suisse
  • Risk minimisation and funding, experiences in France, Norbert Bommensatt, ADEME
  • Panel discussion with
    • Gianni Operto, aeesuisse (moderation)
    • Katja Christ, National Councillor Canton Basel
    • Bastien Girod, National Councillor Canton Zurich
    • Ulrich Nyffenegger, Head of Office for Environment and Energy, Canton Bern
    • Pascal Abbet, Director Groupe E Celsius
    • Patrick Voegeli, Board Member Eaposys

=> All presentations and recordings

Geothermal energy for the Swiss urban environment, needs and possibilities of cities and energy suppliers
  • Panel discussion with
    - Ronny Kaufmann, Swisspower (moderation)
    - Marcel Rüegg, Director institutional relations, SIG
    Niels Giroud, Responsible geothermal and director Geool, SIL
    Guillaume Fuchs, Member of the direction, Romande Energie
    Reto Rigassi, Secretary Association Energiestadt
    Evelyn Rubli, Member of the direction, IWB

=> Recording

Knowing, protecting and using the underground resources - Examples and Experiences
-- Strategische und technologische Betrachtungen
  • Moderation: Andreas Möri, Swisstopo
  • Strategic considerations for the protection and use of underground resources, Olga Darazs, CSD Ingénieurs, Federal Geological Commission
  • Geothermal subsurface characterization: State of the art technologies & Innovation, Klaus Eder, Schlumberger
  • State of the art deep drilling technology, Dirk Boernecke, Fraunhofer IEG

    => All presentations and recordings

    -- Acquisition of data and valorisation of information ... how to
    • Moderation: Katharina Link, Geothermie-Suisse
    • Minimum data requirements for exploratory drilling: Recommendations from experience sharing in the Transfer program, Michaela Meier, TU München
    • Seismic campaigns - experiences from different projects as input to the mapping of the subsurface, Christian Häring, Geo Explorers
    • Programmatic approach to unlock the geothermal potential: the example of Geneva to inspire other cities and cantons, Michel Meyer, SIG

    => All presentations and recordings

    Access to Geothermal energy and distribution for heating and cooling
    -- From vertical prospection to horizontal distribution
    • Moderation: Andreas Hurni, Fernwärme Schweiz VFS
    • Thermal engineering for optimal use of geothermal energy, Pierre Bignon, SERMET
    • Scenarios for geothermal use of groundwater in heat networks: temperatures, uses, requirements, Sylvie Faÿ, SIG
    • Geothermal energy and district heating: Opportunities and challenges, 25 years of experience in Riehen, Mattias Meier, Erdwärme Riehen

    => All presentations and recordings

    -- Water, a key ressource for drinking and energy
    • Moderation: Stefan Güpfert, SVGW
    • Groundwater for dual use as heat and drinking water: risk or opportunity? Nathalie Andenmatten, Canton de Genève
    • Two in one: combined use of drinking water and heat as in Seon, Patrick Obrist, Technische Betriebe Seon
    • Position of the water suppliers on the energetic use of groundwater, Rolf Meier, SSIGE

    => All presentations and recordings

    Geothermal for energy storage and electricity production - Examples and Experiences
    -- Geological, energetic and socio-economic framework conditions
    • Moderation: Valentin Gischig, Bundesamt für Energie BFE
    • Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Stromerzeugung mit Geothermie im geologischen Kontext der Schweiz, Marene Brehme, ETHZ
    • Potential Energiespeicherung im Schweizer Untergrund, Jérôme Faessler, Geothermie-Schweiz
    • Chancen, Risiken und Wahrnehmung der geothermischen Stromerzeugung in der Schweiz (soziale Aspekte), Julia Cousse, Universität Genf

    => All presentations and recordings

    -- Need for electricity and energy storage - solutions beneath our feet

    • Moderation: Martin O. Saar, ETHZ
    • New knowledge from BedrettoLab and Utah FORGE for power generation in Haute Sorne and further projects, Olivier Zingg, GeoEnergie Suisse
    • Long term thermal energy storage as important driver for the energy transition – examples and experiences, Luca Baldini, ZHAW
    • AGEPP in Lavey les Bains, Experiences of the first geothermal electricity production project in Switzerland, Jean-François Pilet, AGEPP

    => All presentations and recordings

    -- Perspectives Geothermie-Suisse - Thank you Nathalie

    • Karl-Heinz Schädle
    • Nathalie Andenmatten Berthoud
    • Michel Meyer

    => Recording

    Forum Partner


    Closed since 2 October 2023
    Location Concress Center, Basel
    Organised by
    Participants 94
    Meetings 90
    Switzerland 162
    France 12
    Germany 11
    Italy 1
    Spain 1
    United Kingdom 1
    Netherlands 1
    Total 189
    Private company 88
    Public authority 35
    Public-private company 23
    Association / Federation 15
    Research institution / University 13
    Start-up company 11
    Media 2
    Foundation 1
    Cooperative 1
    Total 189
    Profile views
    Before event 2014
    After event 314
    Total 2328