Launch of Sustainable fuels and base chemicals for Switzerland

Dübendorf, St. Gallen und Thun, 11.12.2023 - The aim of the consortium is to develop robust supply paths for sustainable fuels and base chemicals for Switzerland. The consortium is funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) as part of the SWEET funding program and held its kick-off event on 8 December 2023. Nine Swiss universities, universities and research institutes from various disciplines as well as an industrial partner are involved. As the clock is ticking for climate-friendly solutions, political decision-makers will also be involved.

A Memorandum of Understanding on sustainable energy and energy technologies was signed during the visit of Swiss President Alain Berset to Oman, and Empa researcher Christian Bach, the co-coordinator of, received a corresponding Letter of Interest from the Omani Ambassador to Switzerland, H.E. Mahmood Al Hassani, for future collaboration; the consortium thus came into being at just the right time. Although these are only the first steps on the long road to supplying Switzerland with sustainabe fuels and base chemicals, they demonstrate the international dimension of, which brings together more than 60 project partners along the entire value chain.

The signing has already been followed by the first concrete steps. For example, a delegation of 15 industry and research representatives will be travelling to Oman in December to hold talks with the Omani Ministry of Energy and Minerals on the sidelines of the Green Hydrogen Summit there. The talks will focus on the development of approaches for the production of sustainable energy sources and base chemicals as well as regulatory and market solutions.

Another – European – case study will soon be launched in southern Spain. At the same time, the efficiency and therefore also the costs of currently available processes for the production of sustainable energy sources are to be significantly improved. As a center of research and technology, Switzerland can make an important contribution to solving the global climate problem.
International cooperation for more efficient production

The SFOE-funded consortium is investigating how fossil fuels can be replaced by sustainable energy sources, for example in aviation and industrial processes. The majority of these will come from abroad. Countries in the Earth's Sun Belt could play an important role here. Accordingly, the researchers will be looking closely at foreign production, regulatory and legal framework conditions and the issue of dependency. In order for Switzerland to meet its demand for sustainable fuels and base chemicals amounting to 30 to 60 terawatt hours (approx. 3 to 6 billion liters of diesel equivalent), it needs a PV area of 200 to 400 km2 on site, which is slightly less than the area of Lake Constance. Two to three times more electricity can be generated per square meter of PV area in the Sun Belt than in Switzerland. In future, the electricity thus generated will be the energy basis for the production of sustainable fuels and base chemicals.

Within Switzerland, the consortium is focusing on the increased energetic use of farmyard manure (especially slurry) in the form of gaseous or liquid energy carriers and on increasing the efficiency of production processes for synthetic fuels.

SWEET (Swiss Energy research for the Energy Transition) funding programme
The SWEET programme issues rolling calls for proposals for consortium projects and will continue until 2032. Funding is provided only for consortium projects that address central research topics of the 2050 Energy Strategy and Switzerland's long-term climate strategy in a comprehensive manner. SWEET focuses on solution-oriented research and on demonstrations of the results achieved. The SFOE has the lead for the SWEET programme.

Address for enquiries

Prof. Dr. Regina Betz
Co-coordinator (Environmental economics and ecology)
Phone +41 58 934 49 54

Christian Bach
Co-coordinator (Technological aspects, Oman-Case)
Phone +41 58 765 41 37

Dr. Jörg Roth
Technology and knowledge transfer
Phone +41 56 310 53 96


Federal Laboratory for Materials Testing and Research