Projects 2013–2020

The Research Program Energy Change Impact brings together around 40 projects dealing with the impacts of the energy transition on the environment. The below list shows projects targeting at the following renewable resources:

Landscape, PV




EN: Trenner


Potential of energy wood in the Ukrainian Carpathians
Assessment of energy wood potentials and socioeconomic factors to enhance energy security in the Ukrainian Carpathians

Modell development to assess the provision and costs of wood harvest for energy
Assessment of the economical and ecological impact of timber harvesting operations. Integration in the “HeProMo” productivity models to estimate energy wood potentials for different regions of Switzerland.

Biomass potentials online:  

Renewable Energies Aargau
How can various types of renewable energies in the Canton Aargau be used best for the Swiss energy transition?

The role of biomass in Switzerland’s future energy system
Estimates for 2020, 2035 and 2050 (Switzerland)

Bioenergy Clusters and Hotspots in Switzerland
Which regions have lots of bioenergy (hotspots)? And why?

Power Density
The energy density of crude oil is very high, while PV has a very low energy density. This study determines the power density of 10 biomass categories and presents them at different spatial scales.

Biomass transportation for energy in Switzerland
Analysis of the costs, the energy efficiency and the CO2 balance along the main logistic paths.

Biomass for Mobility
What is the contribution of bioenergy for the Swiss mobility sector?  (collaboration with SCCER Mobility)

Impact of Fuel Wood Piles on Saproxylic Beetles
How to mitigate negative impacts of increased fuel wood use on beetles that depend on dead wood?

Energy Biomass from Nature Resource Areas 
Potential and availability of energy biomass from nature resource areas for Swiss energy production.


Felixible Hydropower Operation
WSL is investigates natural hazards at the Trift reservoir, including, for instance, experiments with impulse waves.

Hydrological forecasts for hydropower in high mountain catchments
Decadal forecasts for hydropower production and planning of hydropower infrastructure in the Alpine environments.

Climate Change and Hydropower in Tessin
Forecasts for hydropower production in South-Switzerland taking climate scenarios into account.

New bedload and sediment transport monitoring infrastructure
The new Geophon installation at the HP reservoir Solis, Tiefencastel, supports natural hazard prevention and the maintenance of reservoirs.
Contruction 2015

Ensemble Predictions for Improved HP Operation
Extended-range hydrometeorological ensemble predictions for for 15-120 days to improve HP production.

Exploring the HP potential of future ice-free basins on a global scale
Glacier retreat creates new landscapes. Some locations may be suitable for new water storages and hydropower production.

Hydro-CH2018 Multi-purpose Reservoirs I&II
What is the potential of natural and artificial lakes to mitigate future water scarcity in Switzerland?

Hydro-CH2018 Multi-purpose-Reservoirs III
How big is the sustainable water potential to mitigate water scarcity taking ecological, economic, legal and landscape aspects into account?

Risks for small HP plants associated with climate change
This project supports economic risk assessments of long-term investments by small hydropower plant (SHP) operations due to a changing climate.

Demonstrator for flexible Small-scale HP (SmallFlex)
This project assesses the added value of short- (<6h) and long-term (1 month) hydrological forecasts for the operation of a small-scale HP plant in Gletsch-Oberwald.

Climate Change impact on hydropower production
Synthesis on the current state of knowledge based on CH2018 climate scenarios.

Genetic studies on Myricaria germanica in Tyrol
Investigations on the endangered indicator plant M. germanica to assess the impact of a planned HP plant at the river Isel (Tyrol, AT)

Inventory of Fungi and Lichen in the Trift Region
The KWO is examining the construction of new water catchments in the Upper Gadmertal area and the damming of the Triftsee (Grimsel area, Kt. BE). To this end, rare, endangered and protected lichens, fungi and mosses must be recorded.

Species promotion measures in favour of Small Branch Lichens
A revitalization project at Ramosch on the Inn is likely to affect the occurrences of Ramalina dilacerata. How can the losses be minimized? How could the population development be positively influenced?
2016 – 2019, Extension until 2048 planned 

Integrated river management
Research on waterways engineering and ecology: Sub-project on hydropower and riparian ecosystems.

Participatory siting procedures for hydropower plants  
Does the inclusion of a wider public enhance acceptance and thus support HP planning procedures? (Switzerland)


The importance of the expansion of wind power for ecosystem services
What influence does the expansion of wind turbines have on the landscape and ecosystem services? A model.


Windturbines and bats
Monitoring bird and bat migration at potential wind-power sites in Canton Valais > 2000m.

Flight corridors, light and bats
How do bats reach their hunting habitats from their quarters? We model the corridors in GIS!

Priority areas for wind power production: Case studies on Cantonal planning processes.

Participatory GIS as a planning instrument for wind parks in Switzerland
Why should the population be involved in the planning process and the choice of location?

Landscape, PV

Renewable energies in the Swiss landscape: Conflict maps between landscape services
Media analysis and expert interviews to validate national conflict maps.

Conflicts between Energy Production and Landscape Services
What effects on the landscape can be expected from the energy system transformation and how great is the potential for conflict?

Future opportunities for renewable energies  
What economic significance can renewable energies have for selected regions?

New approaches for landscape assessment (LABES II)
Scientific evaluation of two energy indicators for landscape monitoring 2014-2016 for Switzerland.

Verification of the conflict model with regional examples
Potentials and conflicts of renewable energies (Switzerland).

ENERGYSCAPE: Landscape strategy for renewable energy systems
This projectdeals with public judgments of the landscape effects stimulated by a mix of renewable energy systems in Swiss landscapes.

Renewable Energy and Landscape Quality RELY
How is renewable energy production linked to landscape quality? What is the role of public participation for acceptance?

Alpine Solar Panels to fill the Swiss energy gap
The effect of different angles for electricity production from PV in winter time (Totalp in Parsenn, Davos).  
2016- 2018  

PV panels on avalanche protection constructions
Above the Bellwald ski resort (VS), the social acceptance of PV pilot plants on avalanche barriers was investigated.

Collective financing of renewable energy projects in Switzerland and Germany
A comparative analysis and implications for the political design of the energy transition.

Landscape Impacts of Renewable Energy Production
The role of the connotations associated with renewable energies in terms of their acceptance.