Today’s global energy system, which is mainly based on the use of fossil fuel resources, is not sustainable for a growing world population that is living in increasing prosperity. Energy research at ETH Zurich is therefore geared towards the aim of creating a 1-ton CO2 society.
For Switzerland, this means that domestic CO2 emissions, which currently amount to nearly six metric tons per person every year, must be cut to one ton by the year 2100. This ambitious target is to be achieved through energy efficiency, renewable energies and electrification.
Competence Centres and Initiatives
Energy Science Center (ESC)
The Energy Science Center (ESC) was founded in 2005 as an interdepartmental competence center to facilitate energy research and teaching activities across research fields and departments. Linking over sixty professors from eleven ETH Zurich departments, the ESC enhances cooperation between ETH Zurich, industry, government and society on energy related issues. It aims to facilitate the deployment of an environmentally friendly, reliable, low risk, economically viable and socially compatible sustainable energy system.
Competence Center Energy and Mobility (CCEM) in the ETH Domain
The task of the CCEM is to promote technical innovation in research and development to establish sustainable energy supplies and strengthen Switzerland’s competitiveness. The CCEM supports energy research projects which focus on cutting CO2 emissions, increasing security of supply, reducing consumption from non-renewable energy sources and lowering dependency on imported fossil fuels.
Competence Center Environment and Sustainability CCES
ETH Zurich is the leading house of the Competence Center Environment and Sustainability in the ETH domain. The Center promotes sustainability related projects and co-operational activities within the ETH domain, not only between the two Technical Universities ETH Zurich and ETH Lausanne but also between the four research institutions within the ETH domain: the Aquatic Research Institute (Eawag), the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa). The CCES specifically promotes interdisciplinary collaboration activities and places great value on the early recognition of potential environmental problems.
Center of Economic Research
The Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) works on developing and applying innovative economic theories and introducing these to ETH students in all departments. Researchers at the CER-ETH specialise in energy and resource economics, innovation and risk analysis and other micro- and macro-economic areas.