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What can I choose in the calculator?

The calculator lets you choose the share of Deep geothermal in the total electricity generation capacity in Switzerland in the selected year (2035 or 2050).

Deep Geothermal Electricity



  • Impact
  • Global market
  • Definition
  • Constraints
  • Assumptions
  • Value range
  • References

IMPACT – What are the impacts of Deep Geothermal Electricity?

In Switzerland, increasing the share of Deep geothermal in the total electricity generation capacity will have the following impacts:

Energy system

image No direct impact on final electricity consumption.

image Increases the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix.

image Likely to increase energy independence and energy security.

image Can provide continuous electricity supply as it is not season or weather dependent.

Environment & Climate

image Reduces global CO2 emissions.

image No impacts on deposited wastes.

Society & Economy

image Could have positive impact on total cost of energy transition, but costs of deep geothermal are currently not very predictable.

image May improve balance of payments by substituting fossil fuel and electricity imports.

GLOBAL MARKET – What is the global market for Deep geothermal?

The IEA estimates 69 TWh of geothermal electricity generation in 2011. This corresponds to 0.3% of total electricity generation worldwide and could climb to 1.3% by 2035 in IEA’s 450 scenario [3]. The installed capacity as of 2013 is estimated at 11.7 GW with. Countries with the three largest capacities are United States (3.4 GW), Philippines (1.9 GW) and Indonesia (1.3 GW) [4].


DEFINITION - What is Deep geothermal?

Several methods exist to use deep geothermal energy to generate electricity, but the principle is always the extraction of thermal energy from deep underground, which has a sufficiently high temperature to be converted in electricity in a thermal power plant with a reasonable efficiency<./p>

It generally consist in injecting water into geothermally active layers, which returns to the surface under pressure as steam.

CONSTRAINTS - What are the key barriers facing Deep geothermal deployment?

• The temperature level generally increases in the Earth crust with depth, but drilling costs also increase exponentially with depth (away from the tectonic plates, the mean geothermal gradient is about 25°C per km of depth), with no certainty of discovering a exploitable resource in the exploration phase.

• Near tectonic plate boundaries, shallower drilling is required to reach economically exploitable temperatures, but the risk of man-induced earthquakes due to drilling can cause public resistance and poses liability questions.


At the present moment there is no geothermal power plant for electricity production in Switzerland, that is the reason why there is no data for 2011.

Next tables contain the assumptions that have been introduced in the Geothermal electricity model of the calculator.

Capacity factor [1]
2035 2050
0.85 0.85
2035 2050
CO2-eq. emissions [kgCO2-eq./kWhe] 0.0840 0.0840
Deposited waste [UBP/kWhe] 19.8 19.8
2035 2050
Specific investment [CHF/kWe] 11'164 6'310


MIN Value: 0 GW

MAX Value:

2035 0.7GW The potential for 2050 is estimated to be 4.4 TWh [2], produced by 0.57 GW (Capacity factor = 0.8).


[1] VSE(2012), Electricité géothermique

[2] PROGNOS 2012, Die Energieperspektiven für die Schweiz bis 2050, Energienachfrage und Elektrizitätsangebot in der Schweiz 2000–2050.

[3] International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2013

[4] Geothermal Energy Association, Geothermal Power:International Market Overview, September 2013

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deep_geothermal_more_2.txt · Last modified: 2019/10/22 09:17 (external edit)