European Fuel Cell Forum AG

Swiss Sustainable Energy Solutions are Top


Courtesy of European Fuel Cell Forum AG

Four years ago Allinghi, the high-tech racing yacht designed by land-locked Swiss engineers challenged established sea-faring nations off New Zealand and won the prestigious America's Cup. About the same time the Swiss pioneer Bertrand Piccard became the first to surround the globe in a hot air balloon. A Swiss crew will soon be the first to reach New York City after crossing the Atlantic with solar-powered catamaran designed and built in Switzerland. Presently, a Swiss team is working on the design of a solar-powered plane to be flown around the World in 2010 by, again, Bertrand Piccard. On the opening day of the European Sustainable Energy Forum (July 3,, the Swiss world traveler Louis Palmer will take off from Lucerne for a 15 months trip around the world trip with a car powered entirely by solar energy. The list could be continued. Per capita, Switzerland has received more of the prestigious Nobel awards than any other nation.

These impressive accomplishments reflect high standards of education, training as well as science and engineering. Motivation, determination and entrepreneurial spirit contribute to the success. Another good example is the Swiss technology leadership in the sustainable energy area.

After the first oil crisis in 1973 Switzerland has engaged in a broad development of know-how and technology in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Swiss Government has provided very limited, but motivating support to research and development by private industry, government laboratories and academic institutions. A ten-year training program was organized to familiarize home builders, architects, installers and other trades with solar systems, heat pumps, low-energy building design, window glazing, energy recuperation and many topics of this nature. Courses and training sessions were offered in all parts of Switzerland, one per day on average. A solid base was established for the implementation of sustainable energy solutions.

Today, Switzerland is ready for the transition from a fossil energy past to a renewable energy future. More than 50% of new buildings observe the low energy ('Minergie') standard set by a private initiative. Homes equipped with PV arrays are selling more electricity to the grid than they buy during the night or on cloudy days.

The best defense against the threats of Global Warming is a quick implementation of carbon-free energy technologies. Switzerland and its European neighbors have developed a rich assortment of practical solutions which they wish to share with concerned professionals from all parts of the world. Experts will meet from July 2 to 6 at charming Lucerne for the EUROPEAN SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FORUM. Technical issues and socio-economic topics will be featured at this important international event. Implementing a sustainable energy future is much more than a change of energy carriers and conversion devices. Economics, financing, social justice, ecology, urban planning, regulations, incentives, policies etc. must be considered as well. Even today, economic benefits and higher living comfort can be derived from renewable energy installations, improved energy efficiency and lower CO2-emissions.

Sharing intellectual resources with others has always been part of Swiss policies. This year the world is invited to acquire European experience for the implementation of sustainable energy solutions. It's a must for concerned experts to come to Lucerne as Switzerland cannot come to them.

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