Green technologies, called “cleantechs”, are a fast growing sector and the risk of energy shortages gives them a new impetus.
Whether energy efficiency, clean energy or green transition, the Swiss scene is full of promising young people.
“80% of the energy used in the world comes from fossil sources”, recalls José Caceres Blundi, a member of French Tech Zurich during a conference dedicated to green technologies. The difficulty of the ecological transition lies in solving a trilemma: it is necessary both to guarantee the supply of energy (security), that energy is accessible and accessible for all (equity) and that the impact on the environment is mitigated or avoided (sustainability). .
Switzerland, thanks to the exploitation of hydraulics, is behind Sweden as the highest ranked country in the world in this “energy trilemma”, according to the World Energy Council (WEC). However, efforts must be continued and decision-makers can rely on increasingly accurate data thanks to new technologies.
Enersis provides cities and regions with a tool to improve energy efficiency: optimizing street lighting, identifying the most suitable covers for solar panels, evaluating the development of renewable energies… energy experts, explains Thomas Koller, founder and managing director of the Bern company.
Profitable, Enersis reached a turnover of 5 million euros last year. “But the market is huge and we have a target of sales of 100 million by 2027”, says Koller.
For its part, Freesuns has made solar power its hobbyhorse, lifting the aesthetic curb that can prevent homeowners from installing photovoltaic panels. “Our panels are solar shingles that can be adapted to any roof shape,” explains Deborah Learoyd, co-founder and general manager of Vaud-based SME.
Listed historic buildings, unconventional roofs, where traditional solar panels are not suitable for aesthetic or technical reasons, Freesuns provides a product that looks like traditional roofs and generates electricity at the same time. The start-up reached more than a million francs in revenue last year.
A branch of EPFL, Sohhytec, in turn, has developed a solar installation that allows it to produce hydrogen, an energy of the future if it can be produced without hydrocarbons, which is not yet the case for 96% of current production, explains Jordan Bellatreche, head of start-up business development.
Many applications are possible, especially in the steel industry, which could opt for green hydrogen to reduce its emissions. This sector alone accounts for 7.6% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
However, start-ups are not the only ones working on solutions to move away from fossil fuels.
The transition of the oil and gas sector
“The current energy crisis shows on the one hand that energy supply sources are not sufficiently diversified and on the other hand that investments have not been sufficient in recent years”, points out Aurore Caceres Blundi, energy transition specialist at Varo Energy.
The Zug-based company, which owns the only refinery in Switzerland, supplies fuels to a wide range of industries. But how does decarbonization work for a fossil fuel operator? The chosen strategy is twofold: to continue to exploit conventional energies to guarantee security of supply and to develop other technologies, namely through capital investments.
“We aim to invest 5.5 billion dollars for sustainable development and half of the Ebitda will have to be achieved thanks to renewable energies in five years”, observes the expert. Hydrogen, biofuels, biomethane, electric mobility and carbon-scavenging technologies are the top five areas of development, she lists.
This article was automatically published. Source: ats/awp