We will keep you up to date by providing you with information in a nutshell - three times a year (only in German).

Second Benchmarking of Energy Suppliers

, | Nov. 17, 2015

Are Swiss energy suppliers fit for the energy future? Answers to this question provides the benchmarking of energy suppliers which INFRAS and Brandes Energie have carried out for the second time on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (BFE). On the basis of practice-related criteria from seven fields of action, the benchmarking compares the different contributions of the energy providers regarding more energy sufficiency and renewable energies.

The results show developments towards an energy turnaround. However, they also indicate that there is still potential for improvement and further action: On average, the participants reach 49% of the goals defined in the benchmarking. As already in the first benchmarking, the differences between the particular energy providers vary to a great extent.

62 companies have voluntarily participated in the second benchmarking – altogether they cover 58% of the Swiss sales volume.

Link to project

School-supplementary childcare from the point of view of parents and children

, | Nov. 16, 2015

© KEYSTONE/Gaetan Bally

On behalf of the Federal Coordinating Committee for Family Affairs CCFA, INFRAS Consulting and Research, in collaboration with the University of Neuchâtel's Institute of Economic Research (IRENE) and the Tiresia Institute in Ticino, carried out a qualitative study regarding school-supplementary childcare. Interviews with parents and children from all over Switzerland form the core of the study.

Link to project

Standardised integrated Traffic Coverage Quality

, | Nov. 12, 2015

In order to define traffic coverage quality, there are currently various transport mode based studies. In Planning, so far, the most common are the public transport quality classes (ÖV-Güteklassen). However, there has been a lack of an intermodal view, i.e. motorised private transport, public transport as well as pedestrian and cycle traffic. In the present research work (VSS 2011/106) INFRAS and Ernst Basler + Partner demonstrate the requirements, the methodical approaches and limitations through to standardised integrated coverage qualities  in terms of a baseline report. A methodical two-step concept with quantitative und qualitative criterias was tested using case studies and in principle considered suitable. As a final step, a draft for a basic principle norm was developed.

Link to project

Civil Aviation and Sustainability - Update 2015

, , | Aug. 26, 2015

A new report of the Swiss Federal Council on civil aviation policy shall indicate where the future challenges of the civil aviation policy are to be expected. In this context, INFRAS has created an update of the first report «Civil Aviation and Sustainability» which was published in 2008. The updated assessment shows the following conclusions:  - With respect to the economic dimension, the trends may largely be regarded as positive. A main future challange are capacity restrictions at national airports.  - With regard to the environment dimension, despite the facts that improvements have been made, deficits continue to exist, primarily relating to noise and impacts on the climate.  - In the social dimension, the assessment is mixed: while safety and security are viewed positively, there are still some deficits regarding public health and options for residential development in the vicinity of the national airports.

Link to project

Key drivers for energy efficiency in industries?

, | July 13, 2015

The research project «M_Key» was started in October 2014 as part of the Swiss National Research Programme «NRP71 Managing Energy Consumption» and is planned to be terminated in autumn 2017. Partners of INFRAS are the University of Neuchatel and Impact Energy Inc. The overarching objective is to gain a better understanding of the determinants of energy-efficiency investments in Swiss companies. The project targets large energy consumer firms in Switzerland in the industrial and services sectors and aims at testing the main hypothesis that energy management significantly raises companies' assessment of the strategic character of energy-efficiency investments. Core elements to answer the research questions are a large national survey, face-to-face interviews and a small number of case studies among/with Swiss large-scale energy consumers.

Link to project

Implementation of the PLR cadastre

, | June 26, 2015

The PLR Cadastre comprises the most important public-law restrictions to private property in Switzerland. In a first phase, eight pilot cantons are implementing the Cadastre until the end of the year 2015. The office responsible at the federal level, swisstopo, has commissioned the present study. INFRAS analysed and compared the implementation organisations and the technical solutions chosen by the pilot cantons. The results are intended as a basis for decision-making for the rest of the cantons implementing the Cadastre in the second phase.The evaluation team identified several important factors for a successful implementation of the PLR Cadastre. For example, the cantons should clarify responsibilities, processes and legal procedures to be applied in case of inconsistent plans as early as possible. Regarding the technical implementation, generic solutions transferrable between cantons are recommended.

Link to project

Comparison of technologies of solar domestic waste water heating in single-family houses.

, | April 23, 2015

A homeowner aims to heat the domestic waste water with solar heat - in order to replace an electric boiler, for example, or as a supplement to a wood heating system. The homeowner has the choice between solar panels or a combination of grid-connected photovoltaics and heat pump. Which system is more favourable? A comparison of technologies established by the Center of Appropriate Technology and Social Ecology (Ökozentrum Langenbruck), together with INFRAS, the Interstate University of Applied Sciences of Technology (NTB Buchs) and the Institute for Solar Technology (SPF Rapperswil) has analysed this issue. The results show this: At present, the answer still depends on each particular case. The combination of grid-connected photovoltaics and heat pump, however, is already very competitive and is likely to become more and more attractive. If solar thermal power does not become more inexpensive in the near future, it is going to face more and more difficulties on the market soon. Hereby you find the link to the final report and to a scientific essay regarding the research project which is supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (BFE).

Link to project

Ecological Transport Information Tool for Worldwide Transports (EcoTransIT World)

, | Dec. 22, 2014

EcoTransIT is an online emission calculator and enables users the quantification of energy consumption and emissions of worldwide freight transport by trucks, trains, ships and airplanes. INFRAS in collaboration with the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) Heidelberg is in charge of the development of the methodology of EcoTransIT while the programming of the tool is conducted by IVE mbH Hannover. The EcoTransIT consortium consisting of DB Schenker, Gebrüder Weiss, Gefco, Geodis, Green Cargo, Greencarrier, Hamburg Süd, Hapag-Lloyd, Austrian Railways, SBB, SNCF, System Alliance Europe, Trenitalia and International Union of Railways (UIC) is responsible for the funding.The methodology of EcoTransIT has been currently revised substantially by INFRAS and IFEU. The calculation of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission is now carried out in accordance with the new European standard EN 16258. For each calculation EcoTransIT provides a declaration fulfilling the requirements of the standard EN 16258. Furthermore the emission factors used particularly for the calculation of air freight have been updated fundamentally.Energy consumption and emissions of transport chains can be calculated free of charge by following the link:

Link to project

Zurich Climate Prize 2014

, , | Nov. 27, 2014

In 2014 Zurich Switzerland launched the Zurich Climate Prize for Switzerland & Liechtenstein for the second time. Projects are awarded which either make an effective contribution to reducing CO2 emissions or which lead to an improvement of energy and resource efficiency or to behaviour changes. The Zurich Climate Prize focuses on the following three categories: buildings & housing, production & consumption and transport & mobility. A total of 108 projects were submitted and seven winners awarded. The municipality of Hohentannen won the first prize for its project GemeindePOWER.INFRAS supported Zurich in the conceptual design and implementation of the Climate Prize. All information are availabe on

Link to project

Impact Study Geological Repositories

, , , | Nov. 18, 2014

Deep geological repositories (and their surface facilities respectively) have economic, ecological and social impacts on a siting region. These need to be identified objectively and as early as possible. It is with these objectives in mind that the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) commissioned a socioeconomic and ecological study in 2011 for all the six potential siting regions. INFRAS, together with Rütter Soceco and Ecosens, carried out the expert study. Now the final report of the study is available containing the following results:Economy: The more the construction and civil engineering as well as the metalworking sectors are represented in a region, the more added value, employment and, as a consequence, tax income are to be expected when a deep geological repository is constructed. Regions with a comparatively high proportion of sensitive sectors (tourism and agriculture), however, suffer a potentially negative impact from the presence of a deep geological repository. Environment: The highest impact concerning surface facilities arise in regard to consumption of land, crop rotation areas, excavated material as well as wildlife corridors. There is a low or no impact at all in regard to protected areas and ground water protection zones as these areas have been excluded on the basis of the site location process already. Society: The more the settlement area is dense, the aspired settlement growth is high and the surface facilities are well visible, the more a site is appraised as being negative. However, if there is industry and commerce represented in the vicinity of the site already the appraisal is less negative.All documents:

Link to project