Near-surface Geothermal Resources in the Territory of the Alpine Space

Technical University of Munich

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is working on the assessment of the subsurface geothermal potential, heat transport, storage and geothermal usage techniques by field and laboratory tests as well as numerical analysis.

As the Project Leader for GRETA, TUM offers to the project its consulting experience, works on the detailed assessment of the geothermal potential and the development of criteria for effective geothermal usage in the pilot region Oberallgäu/Sonthofen and supports the development of the energy plan studies.”

ARPA Valle d'Aosta

ARPA Valle d’Aosta is a public technical institution aimed to the environmental monitoring, which operates under the management of the regional administration.

In the field of thermogeology, in the years 2010÷2012 ARPA undertook a study based on experimental data about the potential environmental threats (on groundwater and soils) connected to the use of shallow geothermal energy in its own territory, a typical alpine environment.

Geological Survey of Austria

The main activities at the Geological Survey of Austria (GBA) are geological mapping, the study of mineral resources, the discussion of all types of geological hazards, investigations for the sustainable supply of drinking water as well as the sustainable use of geothermal energy. Geophysical measurements from the air and on the ground, geochemical analyses and absolute or relative age dating of rocks complement the work of mapping geologists as well as of economic geologists, engineering and hydrogeologists.

Geological Survey of Slovenia

Geological Survey of Slovenia (GeoZS) is a public research institute employing 92 scientists, researchers and technicians. Fundamental research fields are geology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, sedimentology, paleontology, tectonics and geophysics.

Applied research is focused in mapping and development of natural resources (groundwater, mineral resources and geothermal energy), and natural hazards prevention. Other activities are monitoring, natural geological heritage preservation, geological education and GIS data management. Besides, GeoZS supports different governmental agencies by expert basis for planning and management of natural resources.


BRGM supports the development of all types of geothermal energy exploitation as requested by the Ministries supervising BRGM’s activities. BRGM develops maps of potential development for shallow geothermal energy both on regional and local levels. These are designed as decision support tools for both authorities and engineering companies. BRGM supports the French legal authorities in the regulation update (Code minier) related to geothermal energy.

In this process BRGM has developed a methodology to highlight hazardous areas where restrictions may apply. BRGM has a strong partnership with the Agency for Energy (ADEME). By its technical capacities BRGM is able to orientate French policies in geothermal energy.


Politecnico di Torino-DIATI (POLITO) is a leading institution for research and higher education in the field of environmental engineering, with a strong interest on renewable energy sources. In the last decade, it developed a large know-how on near-surface geothermal energy working on research and consultancy projects.

The experience in this field is demonstrated by the scientific production on flow and heat transport modelling, sizing and optimization of geothermal heat pumps, mapping of near-surface geothermal potential and policy instruments.


EURAC is an advanced research and training centre; its main activities are in the fields of Autonomies, Health, Mountains and Technologies. The Institute for Renewable Energy leads research in the field of sustainable heating and cooling systems, photovoltaic energy systems, energy efficient buildings, energy and retrofit of historic buildings and on urban regional energy systems.

Concerning the analysis of urban and regional energy systems, EURAC's interests are on sustainable energy planning and policies, developing methodologies and tools for spatial decision support systems and assessing the economic and financial feasibility of sustainable energy solutions at urban and regional scale.


Triple-S GmbH is a system provider for special geothermal applications. We develop, plan and build innovative and energetically mature railway point heating, surface heating and modular railway platform systems, combining smart technology with product innovation and sustainability. As a general contractor, our spectrum of services ranges from the feasibility study for a project through to the role of the operator. Together with our interdisciplinary partner network you therefore receive exceptional competency and safety with respect to technology and design as well as for operations.


INDURA is a French cluster based in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The 85 organisations who are members of INDURA represent local and national construction companies, engineering consultancies, research centres and engineering schools. The Cluster’s main objective is to promote innovation in the field of civil engineering, and specifically in transport and energy infrastructure.

Geothermal energy is one area of interest to INDURA and has been specified as a priority by INDURA’s scientific board. Specific competences of INDURA include accompanying cluster members in project development and the dissemination of results via professional unions, local and national authorities and research groups.

Regione Lombardia

The Environment, Energy and Sustainable Development Department of Regione Lombardia is in charge of energy sector regulation and planning. Regione Lombardia promotes research, technological innovation and development of renewable energy sources (RES).

Moreover Regione Lombardia is the first Italian region to have anticipated by law, as of 1 January 2016, the buildings zero energy (NZEB Near-Zero Energy Building) both public and private imposed by the European Directive 2010/31/EU, anticipating the targets laid down in 2019 and 2021. Regarding the use of low enthalpy geothermal resources, Regione Lombardia simplified administrative procedures for close loop plants with a specific regional code and developed a User-friendly regional tool for monitoring GCHPs diffusion a regional scale (RSG - Regional Registry of ground-coupled heat pump systems). 

The new regional energy plan, approved in 2015, includes among its objectives the development of renewable energy sources (RES), such as geothermal heat pumps using water–source (open loops). Regione Lombardia will promote the development of geothermal heat pumps water–source open loops simplifying authorization procedures as already done for geothermal heat pumps water–source close loops.

Climate Alliance

For more than 25 years, Climate Alliance member municipalities have been acting in partnership with indigenous rainforest peoples for the benefit of the global climate. With some 1,700 members spread across 26 European countries, Climate Alliance is the world’s largest city network dedicated to climate action and the only one to set tangible targets: each member city, town and district has committed itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent every 5 years. Recognising the impact our lifestyles can have on the world's most vulnerable people and places, Climate Alliance pairs local action with global responsibility. The network fosters cooperation with indigenous peoples, runs awareness raising campaigns and develops tools for climate action planning. It provides ample opportunity for participation and exchange while representing member interests at the national, European and international levels.

University of Basel

The Applied and Environmental Geology group of the Basel University, Switzerland, has expertise in regional thermal management of subsurface resources (in complex urban contexts with different subsurface uses). Our research shows that anthropogenic activities, such as the increasing use of the subsurface for thermal power generation and urban subsurface development play a significant role in the warming of urban subsurface resources. In sum, these thermal effects can be more significant compared to global warming in general.

Newly developed high-resolution temperature monitoring systems allow to calibrate and validate 3D-heat-transport models and to quantify the different natural and anthropogenic thermal boundary conditions on regional and urban scales. Our research results already are used as a basis for the thermal management of subsurface resources.

The objective of the pilot study Davos is to work out the use potential and productivity of shallow geothermal energy from an alpine aquifer, the Arosa Dolomite, an aquifer of regional spatial extent, embedded in a sequence of tectonic units in the eastern alpine system.