Two renewable energies should play a decisive role in Energy Strategy 2050: hydropower and deep geothermal energy, where hot water from underground serves as a source of energy. As part of a joint project, researchers therefore addressed both electricity generation methods in detail. The requirements of the two energy sources could hardly be more different.
At present, hydropower is responsible for 60 % of the Swiss electricity mix. Possibilities for expansion are limited, meaning that research work is focussing on the optimisation and further development of existing power plants. The objective would be to increase production by 10 %.
The situation is very different in the case of deep geothermal energy: although it should soon take on an important role, no electricity is currently generated in Switzerland using this method. Researchers therefore looked at the question of whether geothermal energy is even in a position to in future account for a substantial share of national electricity production – as well as how it can be utilised in a safe manner.