Zurich/Lausanne/Interlaken - The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) have presented their green energy coalition at the Swiss Economic Forum. The aim is to make the storage of renewables commercially viable in conjunction with partners from the worlds of politics and business.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) publicly presented their plans for a green energy coalition on June 8 at the Swiss Economic Forum, which was held in Interlaken in the canton of Bern. “The purpose of the coalition is to enable existing technologies for carbon capture and the production and storage of carbon-​neutral gases and fuels to be brought to market quickly and reach industrial scale”, says ETH President Joël Mesot, who explained the project in a press release issued by his university. The aim is to facilitate the production of a scalable, climate-neutral and flexible energy system and to achieve the defined net zero target by 2050.

As part of the coalition, ETH Zurich and EPFL intend to bundle their respective strengths and work together with partners. The two universities alone boast “enormous combined potential”, according to EPFL President Martin Vetterli, who goes on to highlight the 150 research groups that specialize in energy, around 460 scientists and four successful spin-​offs active in the areas of carbon capture and energy storage. “Together with other research groups at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa), the ETH Domain has both the necessary expertise and scale to work with industry partners in addressing current challenges”, Vetterli adds. The two universities are now looking for technology and implementation partners in addition to investors and supporters from political circles and society as a whole.

Around 20 companies have already signaled their willingness to collaborate, including Alpiq, AMAG, Emil Frey, SBB, Implenia, MAN, Migros and Swiss International Airlines. The entrepreneur and philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss has also pledged his support for the project.

ETH Zurich and EPFL intend to formally establish their green energy coalition before the end of this year. At the start of 2024, the first projects will be launched. For example, there are plans to build demo plants at megawatt scale. For the first phase, a budget of approximately 100 million Swiss francs will be required. ce/mm

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