The fossil fuels in use today (oil, gas, coal, oil sand and oil shale) are hydrocarbon compounds that have been formed from dead organic material through geological transformation processes that take place over millions of years. Thanks to its topography and high levels of annual rainfall, Switzerland has ideal conditions for the utilisation of hydropower. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) is the highest supervisory authority for all dams in Switzerland. Direct supervision is shared by the cantons and the federal government: the cantons are responsible for small dams, while the SFOE supervises large-scale facilities. The "new" renewables including solar, wood, biomass, wind, geothermal and ambient heat play an increasingly important role in today's Swiss energy mix. Die Bedeutung von Energietechniken und -technologien als Instrumente einer fortschrittlichen Energiepolitik kann in einer liberalen und marktwirtschaftlich orientierten Gesellschaft nicht hoch genug eingeschätzt werden. SwissEnergy has clearly defined quantitative objectives, a comprehensive strategy for promoting efficient energy use and the use of renewable energy in trade and industry, the buildings sector and the mobility sector. In Switzerland, nuclear energy is used solely for peaceful purposes, e.g. for producing electricity and for application in medicine, industry and research. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy compiles statistics concerning Switzerland’s energy supply and consumption. The energy research carried out in the public sector is based on the energy research concept of the federal government, which is revised every four years by the Swiss Federal Energy Research Commission (CORE). Switzerland's supply of electricity to end users is secured by approximately 700 companies. In addition to legal instruments, the energy policies of the federal government and the cantons are also based on the presentation of energy perspectives as well as on strategies, implementation programmes and the evaluation of energy-related measures at the municipal, cantonal and federal levels. Here you will find information about the main legal instruments for the federal government in the area of energy. Mit seinen Förderprogrammen Energieforschung, Programm Pilot- und Demonstrationsanlagen, BFE-Leuchtturmprogramm, ProKilowatt sowie dem Programm EnergieSchweiz unterstützt das BFE den Wissens- und Technologietransfer (WTT) von der Energieforschung bis hin zur Markteinführung neuer Technologien.