"Energy efficiency as the cornerstone to energy turnaround"
Major challenges in the research on energy
In the past two decades, energy research has gained growing importance as key pillar of sustainable development. Renewable energy nowadays represents a consolidated area of research, while energy efficiency has become more important rather recently. Energy research, as conducted at University of Geneva, deals with complex and extensive systems (rather than individual devices) and it is interdisciplinary in nature: it is rooted in natural and engineering sciences as well as economics and strives to address aspects from the perspective of other disciplines.
Key research questions
A selection of key research questions emanating from these challenges includes
- the optimal balance between the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures
- the optimal mix of different types of renewable energy sources and the optimal portfolio of energy efficiency measures
- the appropriate role for energy storage at different scales, possibly making use of new technical synergies and organizational solutions (e.g., the use of batteries in electric cars for peak shaving)
- the optimal mix of centralized and decentralized energy technologies
- the optimal solution for heat integration (e.g., by use of waste heat) and for energy demand side management (e.g., with or without smart meters)
- the optimal mix of coercive regulatory measures versus market-based and voluntary approaches and the respective design of each of them
- and, in more general terms, maximization of the driving forces favouring the pursued energy transition and minimizing the respective barriers.
Research groups linked to energy