Energy efficiency

Efficiency is a key pillar of Switzerland's energy policy. Alpiq has long been promoting energy efficiency: the company is investing several hundreds of millions of francs in efforts to ensure efficiency in electricity production, consumption and research.

Efficiency enhancements in power plants result in energy for 2,000 households

For years Alpiq has been committed to energy efficiency, with particular emphasis on innovative solutions for the generation, conversion and transmission of electricity.

In terms of electricity generation, Alpiq's main priority is to improve the yield of existing power plants. A contemporary example is the Flumenthal run-of-river power plant on the River Aare near Solothurn, which between now and 2009 is being fitted with three new higher-yield turbines. After the upgrade, the plant will be able to generate an additional 8 million kWh of electricity per year, enhancing efficiency by six percent. That equates to the electricity needs of around 2,000 households.

Alpiq's Energy Services segment is also concentrating heavily on services aimed at optimising energy consumption. Some 6,000 employees in this segment are directly or indirectly involved in the field of energy efficiency. They make an important contribution to the effective and sustainable use of energy in the fields of building and process control technology, plant construction and energy technology.

As a member of the Swisselectric research pool, Alpiq is also actively involved in the quest for new solutions for rational energy deployment. The pool invests CHF 5-10 million a year in promising, forward-looking projects.

Modernisation promotes efficiency

Over the past 10 years Alpiq has invested a total of CHF 370 million in modernising the Gösgen canal power plant, rebuilding the Ruppoldingen hydroelectric plant, and renovating the Flumenthal plant. This has increased average annual energy production volumes from 447 to 563 million kWh: a rise of more than 25 percent.

Research projects run by Swisselectric Research, in which Alpiq participates:

 

  • Optimisation of Pelton turbines (HTA Lucerne)

  • Optimisation of ventilation systems in hydroelectric plant pressure lines (ETH Zurich)

  • Optimisation of guidelines for energy security(ETH Zurich)

  • Measures against the silting up of reservoirs (EPF Lausanne)

  • Influence of extreme climatic conditions on energy infrastructures(EPF Lausanne)

  • Promotion of energy wood deployment in Switzerland (PSI)