In an era marked by increasing population densities, climate change, and resource scarcity, the significance of sustainable energy solutions, particularly within urban environments, continues to grow.

The utilization of underground spaces offers a promising way for clean energy initiatives aimed at fostering sustainable living.

The Hagerbach Test Gallery can provide space at different scales to connect different energy storage options, control them and thus simulate underground energy networks for applications of different scales.



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Energy Tunnels

One compelling example lies in the thermal activation of underground tunnels, demonstrating considerable potential in harnessing geothermal and aerothermal energy. This approach serves as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for various needs, including:

  • space heating and cooling
  • water heating
  • and road de-icing

Drawing upon decades of expertise in researching and developing tunnel systems as well as beeing a member of "Geothermie Schweiz", the Hagerbach Test Gallery is the prime platform to help better comprehending the concept of "energy tunnels.

Hydrogen storage

Another example of energy solutions is hydrogen: Despite being the most abundant element in the universe, its natural scarcity, owing to its reactive properties, poses a challenge. However, advancements in renewable energy sources, such as solar, hydro, and wind power, enable the production of hydrogen through water electrolysis. Effective storage of hydrogen at varying scales is a must for the widespread adoption of hydrogen-based energy systems across diverse sectors and applications.

Large-scale storage solutions are essential to accommodate excess hydrogen generated from renewable sources. Subsurface geologic mediums, including artificial caverns like those offered by the Hagerbach Test Gallery, present a viable option for large-scale hydrogen storage.

Hagerbach's expertise in providing caverns of different sizes facilitates experimentation with various hydrogen storage methods, addressing challenges such as the need for substantial cushion gas volumes, hydrogen's reactivity with metals, microbial degradation, and its mobility, just to name a few.

Current Energy Solution Projects

Innosuisse Flagship Initiative:

SwissSTES - Swiss Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage Action Plan and Implementation

Project partner SCAUT (including Hagerbach Test Gallery)

Without a significant expansion of seasonal energy storage, the substitution of fossil fuels with renewable energies will not be feasible. Seasonal thermal energy storage (STES) can play an important role in this. Their importance for improving security of supply has so far been underestimated, although they have the potential to reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports, maximise the integration of renewable energies and waste heat, smooth demand peaks and close the winter electricity gap.

More about the project.

Innosuisse Flagship Initiative:

AEGIS-CH (Advanced Geothermal Systems to improve the resilience of the Swiss energy system through the development and integration of Advanced Geothermal Systems (AGS).

Industry partner: Hagerbach Test Gallery and others

The interdisciplinary consortium AEGIS-CH, comprising academic and industry partners, progresses in two main development clusters:

  1. Energy System Analysis, which develops optimized energy mix scenarios and recommendations for Switzerland, encompassing all contemporary geothermal systems.
  2. Plasma Pulse Geo Drilling, which introduces innovative, cost-effective drilling systems for constructing deep, closed-loop advanced geothermal systems at affordable expenses.

More about AEGIS-CH.

Subspace Energy Hub at Hagerbach Test Gallery

The SUBSPACE ENERGY HUB at the Hagerbach Test Gallery serves as an ideal platform for the coordinated development, prototyping, and installation of new technologies aimed at promoting best practices in sustainable energy use and storage. It integrates both above and underground facilities to benefit society, exemplifying a model ecosystem for sustainable energy storage and delivery in future cities.

Collaborating with partners, Hagerbach aims to transform into a visionary, sustainable, and CO2-neutral underground infrastructure, facilitating the development, prototyping, and deployment of underground space usage, including alternative energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal.

This transformation involves using environmentally friendly electric-driven equipment, coupled with low-carbon subspace design and materials. As part of this initiative, partners have initiated specific workstreams to establish new benchmarks in various technological areas, fostering industry networks and rapid knowledge development.

The SUBSPACE ENERGY HUB aims to lead practical demonstrations and discussions on sustainable solutions in collaboration with diverse stakeholders, connect key players, engage with future generations and decision-makers, and contribute to building a sustainable society through knowledge sharing and joint vision development.

More at the underground future lab:

Smart City

This includes food and industrial engineering and production, water capture and storage and usage (‚sponge city’), ICT / IOT edge computing


Space Habitats & Safety

This includes all research and prototyping to evaluate, test and engineer underground or extra-terrestrial living and mobility spaces


Underground and heavy construction

This includes all research on how infrastructures of the future can be constructed and operated in a circular way with low energy use and minimum emission from the design over construction to de-commissioning.