Shifting away from nuclear energy, expanding solar and wind power, generating energy from biomass, reducing energy consumption. Switzerland is committed to becoming climate-neutral by 2050. An ambitious goal, which has become more urgent than ever due to the increasingly challenging geopolitical situation. How can a sustainable and resilient energy supply for Switzerland be established over the coming years? What's the optimal way to use renewable energy sources? What new technologies are especially promising? At PSI, researchers are seeking answers to these crucial questions.
Foundations for the energy system of tomorrow
On the way to a sustainable energy system, technologies that help to flexibly convert and efficiently store energy are becoming increasingly important. ReMaP, a novel research platform, aims to investigate these urgent issues under realistic conditions.
Clean biogas for a successful energy transition
PSI researchers have set up camp at a biogas plant near Lucerne. Between meadows and gigantic fermenters, they are investigating how they can remove impurities from the biogas to make this energy source even more usable.
BATTERY 2030+ – large-scale European initiative for battery research starts up
Future batteries need to store more energy, have longer life, and be safer and more environmentally friendly than today's batteries. The European initiative BATTERY 2030+, in which PSI is participating, is intended to help achieve these goals.
Life cycle assessment of cars – new web tool helps consumers and researchers
Decision support for car buyers: Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute have developed a web tool called the Carculator that can be used to compare the environmental performance of passenger cars in detail.
Long-term developments of energy pricing and consumption in industry
Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, on behalf of a research project funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), have studied how energy consumption by Swiss industry develops depending on energy prices. One result: Price increases for energy usually affect energy consumption only over the long term.
"Electric is already the right choice today"
An interview on automotive power systems with Christian Bauer, a scientist at PSI's Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis who specialises in life cycle and sustainability analyses.
Make way for electric cars
Petrol, diesel, fuel cell or electric – which is the automobile of the future? A PSI study has examined the overall climate impact of various vehicle engines in use today and also projected it to the year 2040.
Toward better motors with X-ray light
Making Switzerland's road traffic fit for the future calls for research, first and foremost. In the large-scale research facilities of PSI, chemists and engineers are investigating how to improve the efficiency of motors and reduce their emissions.
"This is incredibly ambitious"
Every three years, the World Energy Council explores possible developments of the global energy system under different scenarios. Tom Kober, head of the Energy Economics Group in PSI’s Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis and one of the lead authors of the study, explains what the individual scenarios mean and how global warming could be mitigated.
Observing solid-state batteries during deformation
PSI researchers have observed mechanical processes in solid-state batteries with unprecedented precision. Using X-ray tomography at the Swiss Light Source SLS, they discovered how fissures inside the batteries propagate. These insights can help to make batteries for electric cars or smartphones safer and more efficient.
The energy system of the future and Power-to-X
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI analyse the potential of Power-to-X for Switzerland's energy supply and present their conclusions in a white paper. One finding: The costs for energy from Power-to-X could fall by up to one-third.
Testing the energy system of the future today, as realistically as possible
With the kick-off of the ReMaP project, companies have another opportunity to test their vision for the energy system of the future now. PSI's ESI platform helps to make better and more intelligent use of renewable energy in the future.
New paths for energy with hydrogen
At the ESI Platform at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, researchers are seeking solutions for Switzerland's energy future and improving the efficiency of modern forms of renewable energy. With a mini gas turbine, they now have closed another energy cycle.
Power on demand
If photovoltaic or wind power plants produce more electricity than the network can absorb, valuable energy is lost. At the ESI Platform, PSI researchers are investigating how fuel cells can contribute to making this energy usable in a targeted way through storage.
Profitable for both sides
The young company Swiss Hydrogen is located in Fribourg. Here work is under way on competitive high-performance fuel cells that could be used in environmentally friendly vehicles or deployed as stationary power generators. In the company's collaboration with PSI, as CEO Alexandre Closset explains in this interview, both sides profit.
New technology undergoes real-world testing
The Zurich-based power company Energie 360° provides natural gas, biogas, and wood pellets throughout Switzerland. Now, with the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, it has successfully tested a new Power-to-Gas technology to be implemented in the area of biogas production. The joint project was awarded the Swiss energy prize Watt d'Or 2018. In this interview, division manager Peter Dietiker talks about the collaboration with PSI.
Using what's there
At the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, researchers are looking for solutions that enable energy from the sun, the wind, or biomass to be efficiently integrated into the Swiss energy system.
Efficient energy from biowaste – Watt d'Or for PSI and Energie 360°
Efficiently producing energy from biowaste: A technology developed at PSI and tested in collaboration with the Zurich-based energy provider Energie 360° makes it possible. It extracts significantly more methane from biowaste than conventional methods. For this important contribution to a sustainable energy supply, PSI and Energie 360° have now been awarded the Watt d'Or 2018 in the Renewable Energy category by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.
Stress test passed
With a technology developed at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, around 60 percent more biogas can be produced from bio-waste than with conventional methods. But can it stand the test in practice as well? A 1,000-hour test at the Werdhölzli biowaste digestion and wastewater treatment plant in Zurich was able to answer this question with a clear yes. It was carried out in cooperation with the Zurich-based energy provider Energie 360°. The analysis of the stress test is now available.
More than just spilling the beans
Because of their high nitrogen content, spent coffee grounds are a popular garden fertilizer. Recycled in this manner, they already contribute to an environmentally friendly waste management. But they have the potential to deliver much more: a new procedure developed at the PSI allows high quality methane to be formed from spent coffee grounds. PSI researchers involved in a pilot project carried out in cooperation with the Swiss food producer Nestlé were able to show that spent coffee grounds left over during the production of instant coffee can be efficiently re-used elsewhere.