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

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

News, Environment and Climate | 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)

News, Transport | 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: www.ecotransit.org.

Link to project

Zurich Climate Prize 2014

News, Environment and Climate, Economy | 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 klimapreis.zurich.ch.

Link to project

Impact Study Geological Repositories

News, Space, Environment and Climate, Economy | 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: www.bfe.admin.ch/soew

Link to project

Participation in Transport Projects

News, Space, Transport | Nov. 5, 2014


© KEYSTONE/Laurent Gillieron

Participation means being able to contribute and taking part in shaping and decision-making. Participation is a very common formula in our democratic system and it has also become considerably more important in the realisation of transport projects. As part of the research project SVI 2004/005 of the Swiss Association of Traffic Engineers SVI, INFRAS, together with ecoptima and kcw have developed a manual «Participation in Transport Projects».

Link to project

Green products in Germany

News, Environment and Climate, Economy | Aug. 7, 2014

Sustainable consumption has become a significant trend in the last years. How is this positive trend reflected in sales of environmentally friendly products? Do we observe spectacular growth rates in niche markets or a 'greening of mass markets'? Do green products replace standard products or not? Those questions are addressed in a study on the market development of green products conducted by INFRAS on behalf of the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA). The results reveal that sales of 'green' products are on the steady rise, but remain in niches in most areas of consumption. However, there is a willingness from the consumers for an increased demand of environmentally friendly products that were sustainably produced.

Link to project

External costs of transport in Switzerland

News, Transport | July 1, 2014

The study calculates the external and social environmental, accident and health-related effects of transport in Switzerland in 2010. In doing so, previous calculations are subject to a methodological review, and recalculated using fully updated data sources. The external costs of air and waterborne transport as well as non-motorised transport (pedestrian and cycle traffic) are calculated for the first time.Aggregated across the four modes of transport, total external costs come to over CHF 9,400 million for 2010. At CHF 5,500 million, private motorised road transport is the main originator of these external costs, followed by road freight transport at CHF 1,000 million. Air transport resulted in external costs of CHF 920 million, while rail transport accounts for CHF 740 million and waterborne transport generated external costs of CHF 57 million. In addition to external costs of CHF 900 million, non-motorised transport generates external health benefits worth CHF 1,300 million.

Link to project

Sustainable development in the Swiss hotel industry

News, Society | May 26, 2014

The sustainable development in the Swiss hotel industry shows a diverse picture. While the fields of economy and society have suffered under the economic development of the last years, the efforts towards a better environmental protection have headed in a positive direction.This is the conclusion of the first monitoring of the Swiss hotel industry. The monitoring presents a comprehensive overview regarding the sustainability within the Swiss hotel industry and how it has developed during the last years.The study pays special attention to the subjects of mobility and procurement, considering these as two key aspects of a sustainable development in the Swiss hotel industry. The study provides tips for a sustainable shaping of hotel operations and also presents practice examples of how different hotels are active regarding mobility and sustainable procurement.

Link to project

Benchmarking Energy Suppliers

News, Energy | May 23, 2014

The energy policy of the Swiss Federal Council intends to strengthen renewable energies and energy efficiency with energy suppliers in order to guide the demand in this direction. For this purpose, INFRAS and the Association for Environmentally Sound Energy (VUE) have developed a benchmarking on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (BFE). The benchmarking examines the efforts of the energy suppliers in the areas energy efficiency and renewable energies on the basis of practice-related criteria from seven fields of action (strategy, production, service/products). The results show considerable differences between the energy suppliers, there are, however, signs visible for the energy turnaround. There are noticeable efforts in the right direction by the energy suppliers in all the action fields, in particular in the field of the energy services. However, in principle, there is still a potential for improvement, especially concerning the rehabilitation of hydropower plants and concerning the supply mixture.

Link to project

Influences of vehicle properties on road traffic accidents

News, Transport | May 19, 2014

Based on a newly created pool containing data of the Road Traffic Accident Register, other registers of the Swiss Federal Roads Office as well as from various other data sources, the influence of vehicle properties on road accidents are being examined: Passenger cars are involved in an accident every 900'000 km on average and take part in the vast majority of all accidents on Swiss roads. Trams show a comperatively high accident rate, however, they are mostly operating in heavy traffic in urban areas where interactions with other road users are frequent. Trams are very rarely identified as the responsible party in accidents. Also high accident rates are observed with e-bikes (pedelecs). Compared to conventional bicycles their accident rates are considerably higher. The accident rates of motorcycles are more than twice as high as the ones of passenger cars.

Link to project