Geothermal energy pilot project: sustainable vegetable production using renewable geothermal heating

Project type: Energy Efficiency

Project location: Switzerland, Canton of Thurgau, Schlattingen

Project status: In operation, credits available

Annual CO₂ reduction: 2,015 t CO₂

Family business Grob Gemüse uses heat from two boreholes to warm its greenhouses. The replacement of natural gas heating with geothermal energy helps significantly reduce CO2 emissions generated by energy-intensive vegetable production. This technological showcase project can be operated more economically thanks to subsidies from the carbon offset project. 

To ensure that a variety of produce is still available in the winter months, greenhouses must be heated during the colder seasons. Only with a consistent greenhouse climate can vegetable producers secure their yields and deliver their products to various retailers. In light of the high energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions, family business Grob Gemüse Ltd. came up with the idea of supplying their own energy, but the possibility of converting to geothermal heating first needed some examination. This is because underground exploration is still in its infancy in Switzerland, which is why the project required a lot of planning, research and extensive pumping tests. Drilling boreholes to a depth of 1,200 metres was costly, time-consuming and technically demanding. In addition, there was the challenge of chemically treating the deep water to produce environmentally compatible waste water. While the decision was made to heat using natural gas as a temporary measure for cost reasons, it nevertheless brought with it climate-damaging disadvantages. 

Conversion to renewable energy made possible by funding contribution 

Thanks to this carbon offset project from Foundation myclimate, both the pilot project and Grob Gemüse Ltd.’s desire for sustainable production could be realised. The subsidy created an incentive for the project’s completion and commissioning and gave it pioneer status as the first geothermal project of this size to be successfully realised in Swiss industry.  

Contact 

Do you have any questions? Please do not hesitate to contact us: 

Foundation myclimate, 044 500 43 50, E-Mail

 

This project contributes to 2 SDGs:

Some 12,000 MWh of renewable heat will be generated annually.

Around 2,015 t CO2 will be saved annually.

Situation without project

Greenhouses heated using natural gas

Project standard

Partner

Project number

7833

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