Switzerland Launches Greentech Initiative Supporting Sustainable Products and Services
NEW YORK, July 13 /PRNewswire/ — Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion USA (STIP) launched a new program on July 10 promoting green technologies from Switzerland for the United States under the brand Swiss Greentech. The initiative was announced at the “Green Tech in a Global Marketplace” seminar in San Francisco organized by STIP and swissnex.
Federal Councilor Doris Leuthard, Vice President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Economic Affairs, who opened the seminar, remarked that Switzerland wants to become stronger in the promotion of green technologies in the US and worldwide.
Swiss Greentech Initiatives
Green technology in Switzerland has a long history supported by the country’s strong research institutes and technology companies. In 2008 the government demonstrated its commitment by launching an action plan for renewable energy, the objective of which is to increase its contribution to 24% of total consumption by 2020, from 16.2% today. This year, the government launched additional long-term policies and strategies concerning renewable energy tapping solar, hydraulic, wind, and biomass resources.
According to Martin von Walterskirchen of STIP, there are 538 hydroelectric power plants in Switzerland generating 57% of the country’s domestic electricity production, and 30 wind plants generating 14 gigawatt hours of energy. Solar energy also generates about half a percent of the country’s total power production.
A recent study indicates that Swiss green technology has already created 61,000 full time jobs – almost 2% of total employment – and contributes 1.6% to the Swiss GDP.
Solar Projects in Switzerland
Of the many greentech innovations originating in Switzerland, perhaps best known is explorer Bertrand Piccard’s Solar Impulse project aimed at an around-the-world-flight powered by the sun starting in 2010. Through research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), complex issues of flight using only renewable energy and without creating pollutants will be solved.
Other notable ventures include the Solar Islands project at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), which calls for the creation of land- or sea-based large circular solar panel islands that rotate to follow the sun, creating electricity and hydrogen, and Louis Palmer’s Solartaxi which made an around-the-world tour in December 2008.
Cross Border Interest
Space Energy Group, a US-based company with plans to commercialize space-based solar power (SBSP), recently opened its international headquarters in the Swiss canton of Schaffhausen. The company plans to use proven concepts to develop geosynchronous orbit satellites that will operate as space solar energy collectors and transmitters.
SOURCE Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion USA