In Switzerland, more than 78% of the heating in buildings today is provided by boilers fuelled by oil, gas or wood. The remaining 22% is provided by electric radiators, electrically driven heat pumps, and district heating networks (remote heating).
Fuel oil consumption will continue to decline in Switzerland in the coming years and could become marginal in 2050. The development of gas consumption in Switzerland is more uncertain and will depend on the role we choose to give to this fuel, not only for heating, but also for electricity production and transport.
Direct electric (or “resistance”) heaters for heating buildings or for hot water production are very inefficient compared to other options. They are therefore an energy aberration that should be avoided.
The era of conventional stoves, furnaces, and boilers will one day be over. Modern heating systems, which are a clever combination of heat pumps, cogeneration units and solar panels, are far more energy-efficient than these conventional systems.
From an energy efficiency point of view, cogeneration is justified whenever a fuel is burned with simultaneous needs for electricity and heat at low to medium temperatures. However, cogeneration units are often difficult to make cost-effective.
If all buildings were completely renovated to the basic Minergie® standard (or equivalent label), the Swiss building stock would save about half of the final energy it currently uses. This would represent a reduction of 36 TWh per year, or 18% of our total final energy consumption.
Three complementary solutions can reduce the energy consumption of our fleet (while reducing CO2 emissions): promoting fuel-efficient vehicles, reducing the total number of kilometres driven, and improving the way we drive (eco-driving).
The electric car ^[By “electric car,” we mean a 100% electric car and a so-called “range extender”, which contains a small auxiliary combustion engine used solely to recharge the battery. Hybrid cars are not included in this category.
The hydrogen car could, in the medium term, play a role in the energy transition. It is highly energy-efficient, emits no local pollutants and can contribute to a massive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector… provided that the hydrogen is of renewable origin.
The answer is yes! SBB’s project “Rail 2030” is expected to increase capacity and eliminate bottlenecks, without compromising the high level of reliability and safety.
The Swiss rail network is already the most heavily used in the world.
The potential for energy savings in industry and services, including through energy efficiency measures, is very large: in the order of 25 to 30% for both electricity and fuels, representing a potential gain of 11 to 14 TWh of final energy.
The industry is struggling to harness its important energy-saving potential. The implementation of energy efficiency measures is highly dependent on economic conditions (energy prices, carbon emission costs, etc.) and the specificity of the processes used by the different sectors of activity.
The energy label is an incentive label, which has proved its effectiveness in promoting energy-efficient appliances. It has strongly stimulated the development and sale of increasingly efficient electrical appliances. Building on this success, energy labels now also apply to the mobility and construction sectors, while the Energy Star label has become established in the IT and electronics sectors.
Certainly! The next step will be to replace the vast majority of halogen lamps and compact fluorescent bulbs with LEDs, which are constantly improving both energy efficiency and visual comfort. At the same time, techniques can be introduced to better collect and distribute natural light in buildings.
Overall, our electrical and electronic appliances consume nearly 3 TWh, or 3% of total electricity consumption in Switzerland every year. This proportion is set to rise… Depending on the appliance, standby mode represents between 5% and 80% of its electricity consumption.
The systematic implementation of energy efficiency measures could make a crucial contribution to Switzerland’s energy transition; it would enable us to reduce our energy consumption by 50% without affecting our comfort level, while reducing our CO2 emissions and energy dependence on foreign countries, provided that the rebound effect can be avoided.
Yes, the vast majority of energy-efficient technologies are already profitable. However, given the need for initial capital outlay (sometimes large depending on the sector or applications), the returns on investment can take a long time.
There is no universal answer to this question, as the optimal solution varies according to different contexts (building, individual dwelling, housing density, etc.).
In principle, remote heating can provide better overall energy efficiency.