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Der Bundesrat

Climate idea

Switzerlands way into renewable energy now

Switzerland should invest more in renewables. Switzerland beeing one of the top countries for research and investment could easily do more. On the 18 June 2023 the Swiss electorate voted on the Federal Act on Climate Protection Targets, Innovation and Strengthening Energy Security (indirect counter-proposal to the Glacier Initiative). This is great news! Nevertheless, we need to invest in renewables right now. I had a look at some numbers and was surprised to see: - Land use and land cover: about 5...8% of the total surface area of Switzerland are settlements and urban areas [1, 2] - Photovoltaics: to establish a 6kW society (which is more realistic than 2kW) we would need to cover about 6% of Switzerland’s total surface - Swissgrid: the current grid contains about 12’000 transmission towers Looking at these numbers tells me, building photovoltaics on top of most of the covered areas could easily produce enough energy to supply the whole society with energy. These numbers consider the whole energy demand of Switzerland (fossil fuels and all other included). Additionally we could consider to use the 12’000 transmission towers to build wind power with has the potential of generating another 3.6 GW (~8% of total energy need). We must consider that transmission towers do also have a major impact on the overall appearance of the landscape – which is a big topic in the discussion of todays wind power plants. Adding wind power on top of these towers would not have an additional impact and thus be “for free” (also the needed power lines are on site). Until here we have not considered the already existing water power infrastructure (15% of the total energy), all said before is additional energy! This brings up another question, how to store the energy produced? One possible solution could be compressed air energy storage (CAES) plants [4]. This kind of plants could be combined with technologies like heat exchanger and carbon storage to further increase the efficiency. Caverns like unused NEAT tunnels do already exist [5]. Other opportunities existing have not even been mentioned, like; heat exchanger in wastewater treatment plants [6] and sewage [7]. To summarize, a lot of potential for energy generation does exist. Technologies to exploit and store these kinds of energies are ready as well (or becoming ready recently). Having all this energy available would increase the flexibility and resilience, e.g. stored water from the water power infrastructure could be used as drinking water if needed, the transportation system could have been easily supported from this energy (distribution e.g. via the existing power grid of the public transportation system), it would free resources that could be invested in building a more energy efficient national sub-way system and help convert the existing system to a new sustainable one that has a positive impact on the environment. In Switzerland we are in the situation that we have all building blocks needed we just have to decide to do it and get the transition going (finally). [1]







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  • We Don't Have Time

    39 w

    Dear Ursin Solèr Your climate idea has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to Der Bundesrat by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

    • Annett Michuki..

      39 w

      the country is moving to the right direction

      • Ursin Solèr

        39 w

        @annett_michuki Agree, but still to slow...

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