During two funding periods 2013-2016 and 2017-2020 Innosuisse, together with the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy SFOE, managed and funded the establishment and operation of university-networked research competence centres (Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research SCCER). Innosuisse commissioned the two organisations Interface in Lucerne and Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft in Graz to carry out an evaluation of the effects of the completed energy funding programme as part of the “Swiss Coordinated Energy Research” action plan.
The action plan is intended to initiate and implement sustainable and far-reaching changes in Switzerland’s energy supply and to provide solutions to the technical, social and political challenges for the “2050 Energy Transition”.
Innosuisse has used a total of over 250 million Swiss francs in funding over the two funding periods to build up the research capacities and operation of eight SCCERs, to provide additional support for innovation projects in the field of energy and to promote joint activities across SCCERs. Read more on the conclusion of the funding program in the media release dated 17 December 2020: Innosuisse successfully concludes energy funding programme.
The evaluation includes the evaluation of the three measures mentioned above. The focus is on assessing short, medium and, where possible, long-term impacts and their contribution to the objectives of the action plan. The evaluation team should also assess the design and implementation of the programme.
A peer review and a foresight conference with the participation of energy experts are planned to summarise the results and develop recommendations. This will also allow the evaluation to focus on the possible long-term effects of the Energy Funding Programme and its impact on the economy, on science and on society. The evaluation is scheduled to be published in the third quarter of 2022. A summary of the results will be presented graphically to communicate them to a wider audience outside the scientific community and especially to policymakers.
Seven action areas – eight SCCERs
This action area addresses the efficiency of energy and the rational usage of energy, taking into account the entire building sector as well as industrial processes. Two SCCERs are working in this action area:
This action area focuses on electrical networks. Alongside their stability and Switzerland’s supply security, the key topics include the integration of intermittent renewable power sources and smart grids ‒ also with regard to the inclusion of corresponding storage technology.
The potential use of renewable energy sources is closely related to the energy storage possibilities at hand. These must be able to compensate for fluctuations in production and provide consumers with reliable, efficient and cheap energy and heat.
Switzerland can enjoy the natural advantages of great differences in altitudes and sufficient precipitation. Technical innovations for existing and new hydropower plants as well as mechanisms to regulate and connect water supply to electricity production in the best possible way are to be developed.
This action area focuses on making amendments to regulatory frameworks as well as incentive mechanisms related to supply and demand. Taking into consideration a wide spectrum of social-science expertise, the aim of this action area is to investigate which social, political and economic implications arise from certain institutional structures and incentive systems on the micro, meso and macro levels.
For mobility on the roads and in the air, fossil fuels are mainly utilised, emitting correspondingly high levels of CO2. In Switzerland, road transport has the greatest innovative potential with regard to efficiency, with efficient vehicles being one of the key research areas.
An efficient and wide-spread use of biomass to ensure the supply of renewable energy calls for efficient utilisation technologies to be implemented on the market. The aim is to use biomass in such a way that the greatest possible savings in the use of non-renewable resources are made while causing a minimum amount of damage to the environment.
Last modification 06.04.2021