Swiss Federal Office of Energy awards the Swiss energy prize Watt d’Or 2024
Bern, 11.01.2024 - This evening, 11 January 2024, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy awards Switzerland’s prestigious energy prize, the Watt d'Or, for the seventeenth time. The winners of gold for 2024 are: AEW Energie AG along with ETH Zurich (Energy Technologies category), Cham Group AG along with Andy Wickart Haustechnik AG, Alfacel AG and pom+Consulting AG (Renewable Energies category), CLEMAP AG along with Otto Fischer AG (Energy Efficient Mobility category), the secondary school Knonau-Maschwanden-Mettmenstetten along with Pro-Energie GmbH (Buildings and Spatial Development category). The Watt d’Or trophy – a snow globe – will be presented to the winners by the distinguished jury headed by National Councilor Susanne Vincenz-Stauffacher at the Kongresszentrum Kursaal in Bern. Hundreds of representatives of Switzerland’s energy scene, including politicians, business people and researchers, will be present.
Innovative Swiss companies and universities are successfully and boldly living the energy future now and putting technology into use. To honour these efforts the Swiss Federal Office of Energy has created the Watt d'Or as the hallmark for excellence in the energy field. The Watt d'Or was first awarded in 2007 with the intention of publicising extraordinary products or services in the energy sector. Motivation was thus to be provided for the economy, politics and the public at large to discover for themselves the advantages of innovative energy technologies.
The Watt d'Or is not endowed with any prize money so no funds are awarded.42 applications for the Watt d'Or 2024 were submitted by mid-July 2023 and evaluated by a team of experts. 17 applications reached the final round of judging. From these the jury led by chairwoman Susanne Vincenz-Stauffacher has selected the winning project in each of the four Watt d'Or categories. This year, there are two winners in the Energy Technologies Category, and a Special Jury award.
Winners of the Watt d'Or 2024
Energy Technologies Category
Smart solution for optimisation issues in the power grid: Using mathematical methods and digitalisation, researchers are working on the electricity grid of the future. Because more and more electricity is being generated decentrally, on the roofs and facades of buildings. This is a problem for the grid operators, who have to transmit these growing volumes of electricity. Expanding the grid is a complex and costly business. An ETH Zurich pilot project with the Aargau grid operator AEW Energie AG offers a smart solution. Thanks to ETH's optimisation algorithm, the AEW grid can be boosted up to 10% - virtually, i.e. without the need for physical expansion. This is achieved by means of permanent real-time measurements and control commands that optimise reactive power and voltage in the grid. This way, solar energy can be made more grid-friendly and grids can be operated more securely and efficiently.
Renewable Energies category
Cham's climate-neutral neighbourhood powered by 100% renewable energy: Cham was once home to a legendary paper mill - a unique site that now forms the foundation for Papieri Cham, an unprecedented contemporary residential and commercial neighbourhood with around 1,000 flats and 1,000 jobs. The new neighbourhood's largely self-sufficient energy system uses 100% renewable, fossil-free energy and its electricity is produced by a hydropower plant and photovoltaic installations. The local electricity grid enables a connection for self-consumption at medium-voltage level. The district is heated and cooled using geothermal energy and the thermal energy of the River Lorze. A highly digitalised energy management system ensures optimal use and efficient consumption of the neighbourhood's energy. Everything has been carefully planned out, from smart technologies for residents and businesses to an electromobility concept and biodiversity measures. Cham Group AG is creating Papieri Cham's local energy network in cooperation with its energy-concept planning partners Andy Wickart Haustechnik AG, Alfacel AG and pom+Consulting AG.
Energy-efficient mobility category
Cost-efficient charging infrastructure with solar charging contains grid expansion: To reach the net-zero climate target by 2050 we need a lot more electricity, for example for charging electric vehicles. The power consumption of buildings with several charging stations can increase to such an extent that the capacity of the connection to the power grid has to be increased at great expense. To get around this, we need to make buildings smarter. The innovative load management system developed by CLEMAP AG in close cooperation with Otto Fischer AG - both based in Zurich - does exactly that. The CLEMAP technology algorithms coordinate more than 30 charging stations from different manufacturers throughout the building, dynamically prioritising or limiting the charging power depending on how much electricity the PV system on the roof is producing. The load management system can even set the charging current so that vehicles are charged solely with solar power. The solution is 100% Swiss Made, developed in Zurich and produced in Ticino.
Buildings and Space category
sek mättmi: A secondary school combines climate neutrality, energy self-sufficiency and cost savings: The Knonau-Maschwanden-Mettmenstetten (ZH) secondary school, affectionately known as sek mättmi, had been looking for an energy solution for quite some time. The aim was to minimise carbon emissions and produce as much of its own energy as possible - all while keeping costs under control. Finally, they found their winner: an integrated energy system that utilises the Hybridbox intelligent energy hub for sector coupling. The Hybridbox was co-developed by Roger Balmer, owner of Pro-Energie GmbH in Eschlikon (TG). Today, the school's five buildings and indoor swimming pool in Mettmenstetten are completely climate-neutral. Thanks to its photovoltaic systems, heat pumps and a combined heat and power plant, the energy system operates at a self-sufficiency level of around 54% over the course of a year, rising to 70% when it comes to the school's electricity needs. For the pupils, a fully renewable and climate-friendly energy supply at school is now part of everyday life. And the taxpayers are happy too: energy costs have fallen so much that the local council's tax rate could theoretically be reduced by almost half a percentage point.
Portraits of the winning projects
Further information about the winning projects can be found in the portraits attached.
Photos and videos
Photos of the 2024 award presentation ceremony will be freely available on 11 January 2024 at about 6:30 p.m. on Flickr (source indicated ©BFE2024). Videos of the award presentation ceremony will be freely available on 12 January 2024 from about 3 p.m. on YouTube.
Live-Stream: 11 January 2024 starting at 16:20 p.m. www.wattdor.ch
Address for enquiries
Marianne Zünd, Head of Media and Political Affairs SFOE
Tel. 058 462 56 75 / 079 763 86 11, firstname.lastname@example.org
Swiss Federal Office of Energy