Winners of the 2022 Watt d'Or awards

The winners of the 2022 Watt d'Or awards have been chosen! This year's trophies were presented to the winners on 6 January 2022 in Bern. The following projects were chosen to receive the various awards (all of which are of equal value):

“Energy technologies” category

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SBB: On track for flexible power consumption – Intelligent load control reduces power peaks in clock-face schedule.
Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) knows its way around networks. First there is the rail network, which transports over 800,000 passengers a day. And then there is the electricity network: as a pioneer of electrification in Switzerland, SBB has operated its own power stations and its own electricity grid for over a hundred years. Now it is looking to digital technologies for more innovation. Instead of building additional, expensive power plants to keep up with consumption, or load, demand at all times, SBB is now using a load management system developed in-house. At moments of peak demand, which regularly occur with a clock-face schedule, the software briefly switches off train coach and points heating systems. As a 'prosumer' (i.e. both a producer and consumer), SBB can thus add flexibility to the interaction between its electricity production and consumption. By 2023, SBB will be able to flexibly manage 70MW this way. Once again, SBB is playing a pioneering role in Switzerland's national electricity grid.

“Renewable energy” category

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Verora AG: Pioneers of negative emission technologies in the Zug mountains – Biochar from Verora AG is being used to capture and store CO2 for centuries.
The moraine region of Menzingen-Neuheim is home to a pioneer of emerging negative emission technologies (NETs). Since 2012, Verora AG, a group of farmers from the Zug mountain region, has been producing biochar here from natural tree and shrub cuttings. Over the past 10 years, the Verora team has transformed the pyrolysis plant needed for the process from a prototype of the German university spin-off Pyreg GmbH into a reliable production plant. Used as a feed additive, biochar reduces the formation of greenhouse gases from livestock digestion and diminishes the smell of ammonia in the barn. It also increases the nutrient content of manure and compost, makes agricultural soil more robust and fertile, and captures CO2 in the soil for centuries.

“Buildings and spatial development” category

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schaerraum ag: The new RaumRaster planning concept makes timber buildings economically attractive compared to conventional construction methods. On this basis, schaerraum AG built its neuRaum climate-neutral commercial and residential property in Horw, Lucerne.
This multi-storey development made of regional timber features a modular planning concept, the RaumRaster. This comprises a timber 'skeleton' standing on a concrete base, which bears the building's entire load. Modules measuring 3.5 × 3.5 × 3m are then inserted in various combinations. Using this technique, the building was erected in just eight months. The building systems are carefully designed to save energy, resources and thus costs. Each apartment has a prefabricated building utilities module comprising the bathroom and kitchen plumbing, heating, cooling and ventilation. A clever design linking the air conditioning with the energy piles, heat pump, solar panels on the roof and carport and a battery storage system means the building generates 50% more energy than it consumes. And thanks to a very economical construction method, rents are around 20% below the local average. To sum up, schaerraum's RaumRaster is a promising concept for building wooden apartment buildings in a climate-friendly, resource-efficient and cost-effective manner.

Last modification 06.01.2022

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