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

Approaches to an opening of the Swiss gas market

, | Jan. 18, 2016

The study examines different variations of market openings. Besides a fully opened market, it also analyses variations with a gradual opening over a period of time or with a differentiation of the opening in regard to customer attributes e.g. the exclusion of market access for households. Furthermore, the issue is being discussed, whether a basic gas supply is necessary at all. The study also evaluates the impacts of a market opening in relation to the economy, the society and the environment. The analyses carried out show that with a continuation of the opening of the gas market, there are positive effects on the economy and the private households to be expected. Moreover, the greatest potentials for efficiency gains can be achieved by a complete opening of the market.

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Emissions of non-road mobile machinery

, , | Dec. 17, 2015

Not only road traffic, but also non-road mobile machinery like construction machines, agricultural vehicles or garden-care appliances emit significant quantities of air pollutants. The updated non-road inventory of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) quantifies these emissions for Switzerland and shows past and future trends. For the calculations with the INFRAS Non-road Emissions Model, a large amount of data was processed, which was compiled with the commendable support of numerous stakeholders. The results are available as a report of the FOEN series «Environmental studies» as well as via an online database.

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The Benefit of Immigration for Swiss Cities

, , | Nov. 23, 2015

Regarding the housing market, transport or the environmental impact, immigration involves many challenges. However, for Swiss cities in particular, advantages are clearly predominant. On the one hand, immigration has a positive influence on the labour market, research and the economic power. On the other hand, immigration increases social diversity, enriches the culture and stimulates social innovations.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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