Fracking has been used for decades to improve the exploitation of conventional oil and gas reservoirs. In recent years, enhanced conveyance technology and rising gas prices have enabled an economic use of fracking in the case of unconventional gas resources, that is resources which are hard to recover. Fracking is also used in deep geothermal energy systems. Both applications are under controversial discussion. Gas fracking and fracking to tap geothermal resources are different not only with regard to environmental aspects. Assessing the use of fracking to exploit these two energy sources also requires considering sustainability, potentials and cost-effectiveness. Apart from the general opportunities and risks, there are specific questions regarding the application of fracking in Switzerland.
In collaboration with experts this factsheet has been compiled by ProClim- and the Platform Geosciences of the Swiss Academies of Sciences. It has been published in German and French in February 2014 and is now available in English as PDF file.
Source: Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (2014) A Focus on Fracking. Potentials, opportunities and risks. Swiss Academies Factsheets 9 (2).