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Sustainability is Reaching New Heights

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

Energy conservation and sustainability is becoming more and more important in this ever evolving world. Switzerland is one country that is making significant investments in being environmentally-friendly and energy-conscious, with an emphasis on solar energy. Switzerland scored 1st place on the Energy Architecture Performance Index (EAPI) 2015, which measures the following three things: economic growth and development, environmental sustainability, and energy access and security.

A few recent developments in line with this trend include the debut of a new 40+ story building by the global pharmaceutical company Roche and the openings of large solar parks, SOLARPAYERNE and the Solar Park Romande Energie – EPFL.

Roche recently debuted one of the most sustainable buildings in the world in Basel, Switzerland. The new building 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 groundwater. This is now the tallest building in Switzerland with 41 stories.

Earlier this month, The E Greewatt Group and the city of Payerne in the Canton of Vaud inaugurated SOLARPAYERNE, an impressive 38,000 square meter solar park. It is the most powerful Swiss photovoltaic infrastructure (converting solar energy into electricity), combining solar energy retention with eco-pasture. By generating 6 million Kilowatt hours annually, it will provide enough power for half of the 9,800 town inhabitants. It also is home to nearly 80 Ouessant and Skudde sheep in the 5 soccer field sized pasture. This project is the main step in a series of measures taken by Payerne which aims at becoming the Swiss city relying the most on sustainable energy.

SOLARPAYERNE follows the launch of the largest urban photovoltaic park in Switzerland by Romande Energie and EPFL. It covers the roofs of more than 25 buildings and has a surface area of 15,500 m2. It will generate 2.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which is equivalent to the annual consumption of 610 households. The solar park also will serve as a major research and teaching laboratory with the aim of developing innovative solar energy production technologies

These are just a few examples of a trend that is taking place with sustainability. Switzerland is making great strides in going green. The small country nestled near the Alps is raising the bar with sustainability. Working with businesses and universities, the country is building a better tomorrow for future generations.


*This post was generously supported by Switzerland Global Enterprise.

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