Geothermal schemes abandoned in Switzerland and California 14 December 2009Posted by admin in volcanoes.
Tags: geothermal energy
There’s news that two geothermal energy schemes have been abandoned in the last few days, one in Switzerland because of safety fears, the other in California because … well, we don’t really know why: those involved are being very cagey. It seems that the triggering of more earthquake activity than expected has been a factor in both cases.
In Switzerland, deep drilling for a pilot geothermal project in Basel has caused earthquakes that have alarmed local residents and caused damage: the company involved has had to pay out 9 million Swiss Francs in compensation, and their project designer and geologist is facing court action on charges of property damage. Last week, the Swiss authorities decided enough was enough and pulled the plug on the project.
Meanwhile, at a site in northern California called the Geysers, a company called AltaRock Energy has told the US Government’s Energy Department that it is abandoning exploratory geothermal drilling, but isn’t saying exactly why, or whether the project might be resumed in the future.