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Cleantech, Redefined?

This post was written by Daniel BangserDirector of U.S. Investment Promotion for Switzerland Global Enterprise*.

Cleantech is an antiquated term that has different meanings, depending on who you talk with, according to author and cleantech expert Nico Lauer. Renewable energy is the most common definition we have today.

However, cleantech is really more about sustainability, how the economy is looking to be more sustainable and getting away from the “boom and bust” cycles of heavy resource use. Massive changes are coming to cities as people continue to gravitate towards urban centers. This trend is an issue that must be addressed by making sustainability a priority.

Typically, more than 40% of energy used in cities is used on buildings for things like heat, but there is no reason why buildings need to be heated. “A building has the ability to create positive energy, where it can capture more energy than it uses, and sell the surplus,” says Lauer. “There is a paradigm change that is taking place with energy, and will continue for the next 50 years causing a major realignment in light of global climate change.”

One example of this sustainable building is the Roche building in Basel, Switzerland, which recently debuted as one of the most sustainable buildings in the world. The new Building 1 will support more than 2,000 employees. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the building exceeds the Minergie standard and is heated entirely with waste heat from the site and cooled with ground water.

Cleantech is more than just solar, water and wind tech. Energy conservation and sustainability is becoming more and more important in this ever evolving world. One way to measure how successful a country is with sustainability is through the Energy Architecture Performance Index (EAPI) 2015, which measures the following three things: economic growth and development, environmental sustainability, and energy access and security. Switzerland ranks #1 in this index, showing the country’s dedication to sustainability.

The country that founded the 2,000 watt society, continues to lead the charge with sustainability. Switzerland is ideal for cleantech companies that are looking to be more sustainable. Being the global leader in competitiveness, innovation and talent can only help create an ideal environment for companies looking to leverage the latest innovations in renewable and sustainable energy.

*This post was generously supported by Switzerland Global Enterprise.

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