Ongoing projects


Funded by the highly competitive Swiss National Science Foundation Eccellenza Grant, the project "Accuracy of long-range national energy projections" (2020 – 2025) aims to position accuracy at the forefront of the evaluation, improvement, and visualization of long-range national energy projections and models for energy and climate policy. This high-risk high-gain project challenges the common assumption that accuracy cannot be improved when modeling long-range phenomenon with a strong human component. First, using extensive retrospective and prospective modeling in 31 European countries, the project will collect first-of-the-kind generalizable empirical evidence in order to define new accuracy benchmarks for long-range national energy projections. Second, the project will deliver novel concepts, modeling tools, and data for the wider energy modeling community to achieve these new benchmarks. Third, various visualization formats of the projections will be evaluated with the intended users to find visualizations that best facilitate decision making. The ultimate ambition is to achieve an in-principle change in how accuracy is viewed in long-range energy foresight.




The H2020 project NAVIGATE (“Next generation of AdVanced InteGrated Assessment modelling to support climaTE policy making”) aims to critically improve the capability of Integrated Assessment Models to inform the design and evaluation of climate policies by targeting major advancements in two areas: describing transformative change in the economy, in technology and in consumer goods and services, and describing distributional impacts of climate change and climate policy. By tackling existing weaknesses and lack of capabilities of current Integrated Assessment Models, NAVIGATE will provide new insight into how long-term climate goals can translate into short-term policy action, and how countries and sectors can work in concert to implement the Paris Agreement.




In the frame of GEothermie 2020  program led by Services Industriels de Genève and the State of Geneva, the Renewable Energy Systems group investigates life-cycle environmental, economic and employment impacts of various heating and cooling alternatives in Geneva. The project in particular aims to fill the knowledge gaps on shallow and medium-depth geothermal systems and then to conduct an integrated environmental-economic assessment of the full heating and cooling mix in one of Geneva’s districts.





In collaboration with Prof. Marlyne Sahakian from the Department of Sociology at the University of Geneva, this project of the Institute for Environmental Sciences investigates the spatial patterns in renewable energy diffusion in Switzerland by combining socio-technical transitions theory and spatial energy modeling. The first aim is to conduct a retrospective descriptive analysis of how renewable energy projects have diffused in Switzerland since 2008 and to conceptualize this diffusion using the so-called multi-level perspective to transitions. The second aim is to carry out regional case studies for in-depth understanding of the non-technical dimension that leads to these spatial patterns. The third aim is to conclude with an integrated forward-looking conceptual and modeling framework for explaining and instrumentally fostering renewable energy diffusion.




The Horizon 2020 project DEEDS ("Dialogue on European Decarbonisation Strategies") supports the European Union Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and the High-Level Panel of the European Decarbonisation Pathway Initiative (EDPI) with state-of-the-art knowledge on decarbonisation pathways for Europe and through facilitating knowledge co-creation with policy, business representatives, scientists, NGOs and other stakeholders. The High-Level Panel consists of leaders from research, business, NGOs and public bodies and steers the implementation of the EDPI, through the provision of independent strategic advice. As the High-Level Panel has no research capacity of itself, the DEEDS project delivers the expertise of leading European research organizations on low-carbon transition pathways.




The Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research - Supply of Electricity (SCCER-SoE) carries out coordinated, innovative research in the areas of geo-energy and hydropower in Switzerland. As a national network, the SCCER-SoE brings together the expertise from 30 Swiss scientific institutions, industrial enterprises, and federal agencies. UNIGE Renewable Energy Systems group is part of the SCCER-SoE Task 4.1 "Risk, safety and societal acceptance" with the focus on deep geothermal systems as well as the Task 4.4 "Joint Activity on Scenarios and Modelling".




The Competence Center for Research in Energy, Society and Transition (CREST) carries coordinated energy research in order to provide evidence-based recommendations in Switzerland on policies that help to reduce energy demand, foster innovation, and increase the share of renewable energy in a cost-efficient way. CREST covers the action areas of economy, environment, law and behaviour. CREST is one of the strongest research centers in this field worldwide and it cooperates closely with partners from industry, public administration, policy consulting, and other Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research (SCCERs). UNIGE Renewable Energy Systems group is the associated partner in CREST.



Finished projects



This highly competitive Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione Energy project RIGOROuS "RIsk GOveRnance of electricity pOrtfolioS: Cross-technology and spatial tradeoffs of multiple risks" (2014-2018) investigates the negative impacts and risks to human health, safety, natural and built environment, posed by the Swiss electricity portfolio as a whole. Multiple impacts and risks associated with the electricity generation technologies are mapped out first, taking a broad and open view to known and uncertain consequences, known and uncertain likelihoods, and varying knowledge confidence. This information is then made accessible using a web-based interactive tool RISKMETER (basic and spatially-explicit versions). RISKMETER is ultimately used in surveys and deliberative workshops for measuring expert, stakeholder and public preferences for the Swiss electricity portfolio.