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Energy Mission 2014: CP Involved in Knowledge Transfer between Switzerland and Germany

21 March 2014

From 18 to 20 March, a high-profile Swiss delegation of business and scientific experts visited Berlin and Düsseldorf to meet with German economic, scientific and political decision-makers and discuss energy efficiency in industry and buildings in depth. Thomas Würsch of CP was among the delegates. The Energy Mission was led by State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs), State Secretary Mauro Dell’Ambrogio (State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation) and Walter Steinmann, Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.

The main purpose of this mission was to strengthen partnerships and trade relations between Switzerland and Germany, with primary focus on energy efficiency. Another aim was to open up new areas for cooperation and initiate more combined research and innovation projects as both countries are faced with huge challenges in the energy sector over the years ahead following the decision to opt out of nuclear power in the medium to long term. They are also among the world’s leading countries in research and innovation. Furthermore, Germany is Switzerland’s principal trading partner, as it is for CP, which serves the key German market through its own subsidiary in Hockenheim.

CP’s Thomas Würsch saw the trip as positive all round: “In particular, the moderated round-table discussion on cooperation in energy efficiency in industrial processes at NRW.BANK in Düsseldorf was extremely interesting and enriching.” Besides Thomas Würsch, the other participants in this round-table discussion on “Energy Efficiency in Production” led by Peter Jahns, Managing Director of the Effizienz-Agentur NRW, were Rainer Bendel, Partner of Helbling Beratung + Bauplanung, Professor Alexander Wokaun, Head of the General Energy Research Department at the Paul Scherrer Institute, John L. Harris, Head of Governmental Affairs at Landis+Gyr, and Okan Kaya, CEO of Thermicon. Other round-table discussion groups dealt with “Energy Efficiency in Buildings” and “Cross-Border R&D Projects”.

The speakers at the symposium held at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin also provided valuable inputs. One was ETH Rector Professor Lino Guzzella who addressed the so-called rebound effect in the scientific panel discussion on “Hoffnungsträger Wissenschaft zwischen Erwartungen und Realitäten: Was kann die Wissenschaft für die Energieeffizienz leisten?” (Hopes Pinned on Science - Between Expectations and Realities: What Can Science Do for Energy Efficiency). A rebound effect occurs when energy efficiency is improved, but the benefits are not realised. For example, an energy service becomes cheaper because it can be offered more efficiently. When the price drops, demand rises. That is to say, people saving energy and hence money through increased efficiency usually spend the savings on other “energy guzzlers”.

Professor Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker presented a possible solution that he had also recommended when advising the Chinese government: energy prices should be raised every year to match the savings that can be achieved through energy efficiency. Energy should be made more expensive, but prices should rise in pace with the increase in efficiency. As a result, consumers will ultimately always pay the same amount for energy. Maintaining constant energy prices over time prevents the rebound effect.

More information

Energy Mission 2014
Combined business, scientific and technology mission to Germany.

Press Release from the
Swiss Federal Administration

Business and scientific delegation takes Swiss expertise in energy efficiency in industry and buildings to Germany

Brochure from the Swiss Federal Administration [PDF]

Brochure from NRW.International [PDF]

Effizienz-Agentur NRW

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