Addressing local concerns, the Swiss federal government has announced an increase in funding by USD 27m for the planned Haute-Sorne geothermal project by Geo-Energie Suisse.
The Swiss Confederation (federal government of Switzerland) increases its support to the developer of the geothermal project in Haute-Sorne. It increases the contribution to exploration for the Géo-Energie Suisse project, which is part of its 2050 energy strategy. The budget increases from from approximately CHF 64 million (USD 66m) to CHF 90 million (USD 93 million) . The Federal Office of Energy announced Tuesday in a statement. This should make it possible to support additional measures aimed at minimizing the risk of earthquakes, pointed out by the government of the canton of Jura which has announced plans to bury the project (we reported).
The Federal Office of Energy responded positively to a request made by Géo-Energie Suisse last February. The increase in the contribution to exploration to the tune of around CHF 26 million should make it possible to extend the initial security system to include the most recent measurement and control technologies. Adjustments recommended by the Swiss Seismological Service.
Recommendations from the Swiss Seismological Service
The Swiss Seismological Service has indeed made recommendations for additional measures which go beyond the current state of knowledge and technology. These are innovative and pilot in nature and their implementation will entail additional costs of around CHF 43 million. The group of experts mandated by the SFOE certifies that the new planning thus includes all that is humanly possible to reduce the risk of earthquake as much as possible. This news of course delights the promoter Géo-Energie Suisse. He believes in a press release sent immediately that the project now has a double safety net.
Contacted by our editorial team, the Jura environment minister David Eray believes that this new element does not change the current procedure. As a reminder, the executive announced in early April that it wanted to withdraw the authorization issued for the deep geothermal energy project in Haute-Sorne, notably due to the numerous hostile reactions from both the population and the political world.