Renewable Energies

17 August 2017

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More than just spilling the beans

Media Releases ESI Platform Renewable Energies Energy and Environment

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.

17 July 2017

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Nanomaterial helps store solar energy: efficiently and inexpensively

Media Releases Storage Energy and Environment Renewable Energies ESI Platform Materials Research

Efficient electrolysers are needed in order to store sun and wind energy in the form of hydrogen. Thanks to a new material developed by researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and Empa, these devices are likely to become less costly and more efficient in the future. Researchers were also able to demonstrate that this new material can be reliably produced in large quantities, showing its performance capability in an electrolysis cell—the main component of an electrolyser.

28 February 2017

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Welcome to Esiville

Media Releases ESI Platform Energy and Environment Renewable Energies

A new visitor’s station at PSI tells the story of a Swiss town that makes the change from a conventional energy supply to one with new renewable energy sources.

9 February 2017

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How Switzerland could supply its electric power in 2050

Environment Energy and Environment Renewable Energies ESI Platform

The Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is investigating how Switzerland’s electricity supply might look, up to the year 2050, under a variety of boundary conditions. On the basis of their calculations, the lab’s researchers are able to generate insights on possible future developments of the energy sector, for example, determine how an ambitious reduction in CO2 emissions could be achieved at the lowest possible cost.

23 January 2017

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Higher methane yield from bio-waste

ESI Platform Energy and Environment Renewable Energies

Within Switzerland’s bio-waste a huge amount of precious energy is hidden. That’s because valuable methane, the main constituent of natural gas, can be obtained from it. With a technology developed at PSI, the yield of methane from bio-waste could be increased considerably in the future. A long-term test conducted in cooperation with Energie 360° at the Werdhölzli fermentation and wastewater treatment plant is expected to advance this technology further along its path to industrial use.

22 September 2016

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Renewable energy: Experimental platform ESI is starting up

Media Releases ESI Platform Energy and Environment Renewable Energies Industrial co-operation

This fall, the time has come: The Energy System Integration Platform at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI goes into operation. Today, in the framework of the double conference Networked Energy Research Switzerland, it was presented to the media and around 150 representatives from politics, industry, and science.

7 July 2016



Media Releases Energy and Environment Renewable Energies

Despite its great potential, solar energy still faces one big problem: the sun doesn’t always shine and its energy is hard to store. Now, researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the ETH Zurich have unveiled a chemical process that uses the sun’s thermal energy to convert carbon dioxide and water directly into high-energy fuels: a procedure developed on the basis of a ground-breaking material combination of cerium oxide and rhodium.

27 June 2016

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Turning Electricity into Gas – and back into Electricity

ESI Platform Energy and Environment Renewable Energies

As capacities for producing solar and wind energy increase, integrating these into the existing energy system is becoming more of a challenge. The ESI platform is testing methods for successful integration. The answer: storing surplus energy as gas.

12. December 2014


Biomasse als Stütze der Energiewende

Energy and Environment ESI Platform Renewable Energies

Mit 80 Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmern fand am 2. Dezember am Paul Scherrer Institut PSI die erste Jahreskonferenz des Kompetenzzentrums des Bundes für Bioenergie (SCCER BIOSWEET) statt. Das im Rahmen des Aktionsplans Energieforschung Schweiz gegründete Kompetenzzentrum definierte in der Tagung die Ziele, Strategien und Positionierung der Bioenergie-Forschung vor dem Hintergrund der neuen schweizerischen Energiepolitik.
This news release is only available in German.

10. October 2014


New renewables on integration course

Energy and Environment ESI Platform Renewable Energies Industrial co-operation

The Swiss government’s Energy Strategy 2050 includes a significant expansion of renewable energy such as solar and wind power. The integration of this electric energy, which is produced in a decentralised way and with temporal fluctuations, poses a major challenge for power grids. One possible solution involves using the electricity surplus that would otherwise overload the grid for the production of gases such as hydrogen or methane. The electric energy would thus be stored temporarily in form of chemical energy. These gaseous energy carriers can be converted back into electricity, heat or kinetic energy (in gas engines) at a later date as and when needed. Dubbed “power to gas”, the concept is the focus of the new Energy System Integration (ESI) Platform at PSI.

12. February 2013


Joint venture in the bioenergy and resource efficiency sector: PSI and FHNW establish joint institute

Media Releases Energy and Environment Renewable Energies

The Institute of Biomass and Resource Efficiency was founded by the two institutions, PSI (Paul Scherrer Institute) and FHNW (University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland), at the start of 2013. The aim of this new institute is to tackle the issue of resource efficiency throughout Switzerland, concentrating simultaneously on energy and material for the first time, and to thus make a significant contribution to the Federal Government’s "Energy Strategy 2050". The focus is on the sustainable use of biomass.

20. September 2011

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«Facettenauge» liefert Strom

Media Releases Energy and Environment Renewable Energies

«swisselectric research award 2011»
Kostengünstiger Strom aus Sonnenenergie: Der Maschinenbauingenieur Illias Hischier hat einen Sonnenstrahlempfänger entwickelt, der die aufgenommene Energie über eine Gasturbine für die hocheffiziente Stromerzeugung nutzt. Hischier hat den Empfänger als Doktorand an der ETH Zürich in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Labor für Solartechnik am Paul Scherrer Institut entwickelt. Er erhält dafür den «swisselectric research award 2011».
This news release is only available in German.

4. January 2011


Benzin aus Wasser, CO2 und Sonnenlicht

Media Releases Energy and Environment Renewable Energies

Einem Forschungsteam um Aldo Steinfeld ist es gelungen, mit Solarenergie aus Wasser und Kohlendioxid Treibstoff zu erzeugen. Dazu haben die Wissenschaftler einen Solar-Reaktor entwickelt, in dem konzentrierte Sonnenstrahlung das dafür nötige thermochemische Verfahren antreibt.
This news release is only available in German.

1. December 2009

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Producing Synthetic Natural Gas from Wood

Energy and Environment Renewable Energies

PSI researchers are investigating methods for converting wood waste into synthetic natural gas that could be fed into the public gas grid. Switzerland has enough wood available to cover several percent of its total energy requirements. Energy production from wood is CO2-neutral, due to the fact the CO2 formed during combustion would otherwise be released when the wood rotted down. Unlike the direct combustion of wood, however, use of this synthetic gas produces no harmful particulate matter.

23. July 2009

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Fuels from solar energy

Media Releases Energy and Environment Renewable Energies

Solar researcher Aldo Steinfeld, Laboratory Head at PSI and Professor at ETH Zurich, wins the Yellot Award awarded by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for his research on renewable energy.
This news release is only available in German.

8. January 2009

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In Zukunft kommt das Brennholz aus der Gasleitung

Media Releases Energy and Environment Renewable Energies

Forschende des Paul Scherrer Instituts (PSI) haben mit Kollegen der TU Wien ein Verfahren entwickelt, mit dem man Erdgas aus Holz erzeugen kann. An einer Testanlage wurde das Verfahren im technischen Massstab erfolgreich erprobt. Für Ihre Arbeit erhalten die PSI-Forschenden am 8. Januar die Auszeichnung Watt d'Or.
This news release is only available in French and German.