Swiss Federal Office of Energy awards the Swiss energy prize Watt d’Or 2022
Bern, 06.01.2022 - This evening, 6 January 2022, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy awards Switzerland’s prestigious energy prize to industry, the Watt d'Or, for the fifteenth time. The winners of gold for 2022 are: SBB (Energy Technologies category), Verora AG based in Edlibach, canton of Zug (Renewable Energies category), and schaerraum ag based in Horw, canton of Lucerne (Buildings and Spatial Development category). The distinguished jury, chaired for the first time by National Councilor Susanne Vincenz-Stauffacher, will present the Watt d’Or trophy – a snow globe – to the winners. Because of the pandemic attendance at the award ceremony is very limited. However, the event will be transmitted via live stream on Internet (www.wattdor.ch ).
Innovative Swiss companies and universities are successfully and boldly living the energy future now and putting technology into use. To honour these efforts the Swiss Federal Office of Energy has created the Watt d’Or as the hallmark for excellence in the energy field. The Watt d’Or was first awarded in 2007 with the intention of publicising outstanding products or services in the energy sector. Motivation was thus to be provided for the economy, politics and the public at large to discover for themselves the advantages of innovative energy technologies.
The Watt d’Or is not endowed with any prize money so no funds are awarded. 31 applications for the Watt d'Or 2022 were submitted by mid-July 2021 and evaluated by a team of experts. 11 applications reached the final round of judging. From these the jury led for the first time by chairwoman Susanne Vincenz-Stauffacher has selected the winning project in each of the four Watt d’Or categories. In the Energy-efficient Mobility category, there is no winner this year.
Winners of the Watt d’Or 2022
Energy Technologies category: SBB
SBB: on track for flexible power consumption – Intelligent load control reduces power peaks in clock-face schedule. Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) knows its way around networks. First there is the rail network, which transports over 800,000 passengers a day. And then there is the electricity network: as a pioneer of electrification in Switzerland, SBB has operated its own power stations and its own electricity grid for over a hundred years. Now it is looking to digital technologies for more innovation. Instead of building additional, expensive power plants to keep up with consumption, or load, demand at all times, SBB is now using a load management system developed in-house. At moments of peak demand, which regularly occur with a clock-face schedule, the software briefly switches off train coach and points heating systems. As a 'prosumer' (i.e. both a producer and consumer), SBB can thus add flexibility to the interaction between its electricity production and consumption. By 2023, SBB will be able to flexibly manage 70MW this way. Once again, SBB is playing a pioneering role in Switzerland's national electricity grid.
Renewable Energy category: Verora AG
Pioneers of negative emission technologies in the Zug mountains – Biochar from Verora AG is being used to capture and store CO2 for centuries. The moraine region of Menzingen-Neuheim is home to a pioneer of emerging negative emission technologies (NETs). Since 2012, Verora AG, a group of farmers from the Zug mountain region, has been producing biochar here from natural tree and shrub cuttings. Over the past 10 years, the Verora team has transformed the pyrolysis plant needed for the process from a prototype of the German university spin-off Pyreg GmbH into a reliable production plant. Used as a feed additive, biochar reduces the formation of greenhouse gases from livestock digestion and diminishes the smell of ammonia in the barn. It also increases the nutrient content of manure and compost, makes agricultural soil more robust and fertile, and captures CO2 in the soil for centuries.
Buildings and Spatial Development category: schaerraum ag
The new RaumRaster planning concept makes timber buildings economically attractive compared to conventional construction methods. On this basis, schaerraum AG built its neuRaum climate-neutral commercial and residential property in Horw, Lucerne. This multi-storey development made of regional timber features a modular planning concept, the RaumRaster. This comprises a timber 'skeleton' standing on a concrete base, which bears the building's entire load. Modules measuring 3.5 × 3.5 × 3m are then inserted in various combinations. Using this technique, the building was erected in just eight months. The building systems are carefully designed to save energy, resources and thus costs. Each apartment has a prefabricated building utilities module comprising the bathroom and kitchen plumbing, heating, cooling and ventilation. A clever design linking the air conditioning with the energy piles, heat pump, solar panels on the roof and carport and a battery storage system means the building generates 50% more energy than it consumes. And thanks to a very economical construction method, rents are around 20% below the local average. To sum up, schaerraum's RaumRaster is a promising concept for building wooden apartment buildings in a climate-friendly, resource-efficient and cost-effective manner.
Portraits of the winning projects
Detailed information about the winning projects can be found in the portraits in the attachment.
Photos and videos
First photos of the 2022 award presentation ceremony will be freely available on 6 January 2022 at about 18:30 on Flickr (source indicated ©BFE2022). Videos of the award presentation ceremony will be freely available on 7 January 2022 from about 15:00 on YouTube.
Live stream, 6 January 2022, 16h20
www.wattdor.ch and www.energeiaplus.com/wattdor2022
Address for enquiries
Marianne Zünd, Head of Media and Political Affairs SFOE, Phone 058 462 56 75 / 079 763 86 11, email@example.com
Swiss Federal Office of Energy