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As an independent federal competence centre, the Swiss Geological Survey monitors the national geo-energy portfolio. It supports authorities as well as the private sector with the exploration, development and regulation of these energy sources.

Drilling tower in Noville (VD)
Drilling tower in Noville (VD)
© Werner Leu, Geoform AG, 2010

Fossil energy resources

Today, around 75 % of Switzerland’s total energy requirement is met through the import of fossil energy carriers from beneath the ground. This includes uranium for the country’s nuclear power plants, as well as the range of fossil organic compounds: coal, oil and gas. Although Switzerland does in fact possess reserves of these energy resources, their use is not economically viable because the quantities are poor, the locations are difficult to reach and the import price would be lower.

Geothermal resources

In accordance with Switzerland’s new energy policy, Energy Strategy 2050, heat from beneath the ground is to be utilised to a greater extent in the future. Shallow geothermal energy (geothermal probes for heating and cooling with the aid of heat pumps) is well established and the technology is ready for the market. In contrast, projects to extract geothermal energy from depths of several kilometres below ground (for electricity production and direct heating) still have to overcome a variety of complex challenges, primarily of a technical and geological nature, though these are often closely interlinked. Thus the huge potential of deep geothermal energy is barely being utilised in Switzerland at present.

The role of the Swiss Geological Survey

The Swiss Geological Survey collects and analyses data relating to the locations of both fossil and geothermal energy sources. It therefore manages a portfolio of potential energy sources on behalf of society. As an independent federal competence centre, it contributes its data and expertise to support companies, cantonal and federal authorities, and universities with the exploration and development of these energy resources, as well with the associated research and regulatory activities.

Federal Office of Topography swisstopo Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern
+41 58 469 01 11


Relevant authority

Swiss Geological Survey
Tel. +41 58 469 05 68

Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern

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