Zernez Energia 2020

A future energy concept for the village of Zernez

Renewable energy integration in the future energy system is seen as the most potent solution to unprecedented challenges like the continuously growing demand for energy, the dependency on depleting fossil fuels, and climate change. Increased environmental awareness and the effort to assist towards the targets of the Swiss Energy Strategy 2050, have led the village of Zernez, in Switzerland, towards the decision to transform into an energy sustainable community. The intention is to generate energy to meet the village buildings’ demands from local, carbon neutral resources, relying on renewable energy, while fully reducing the consumption of fossil fuels by the year 2020. To satisfy this ambitious goal, a research project has been launched (KTI-Project Zernez Energia 2020, which deals with the development of different scenarios for a future energy concept for the village. Renewable energy integration should play a major role in the village’s future energy system; therefore, the potential for the installation of building integrated solar technologies (photovoltaic or solar thermal) is being thoroughly assessed together with the maximum exploitation of local biomass resources and ground energy utilization via ground source heat pumps. Different levels of energy system integration are proposed ranging from standalone solutions for all buildings of the village to utilization and expansion of existing district heating networks and the installation of new, innovative low temperature district heating schemes. To address the complex interactions of multiple decentralized renewable energy sources, advanced conversion and storage technologies the innovative concept of an energy-hub is being further developed. The energy hub concept allows to manage and optimize multiple energy flows within buildings, neighborhoods or at city level. The energy hub concept will be employed at neighborhood scale in order to find the optimal technology portfolio mix that will compose the future energy system of the energy sustainable village of Zernez.

Project collaborators: Georgios Mavromatidis, Dr. Kristina Orehounig

Project partners:
Gemeinde Zernez
Prof. Kees Christiaanse
Prof. Arno Schlüter
Prof. Stefanie Hellweg
Amstein Walthert

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