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Power Density Switzerland - biomass, energy & landscape

 

Co-leads: Astrid Björnsen Gurung and Vanessa Burg

"Power Density" describes the relationship between energy carrier, area and time. Fossil fuels such as crude oil have very high power densities: their extraction requires very little land area, while their energy content is very high. Renewable energies such as solar have much lower power densities and therefore require much larger areas on the production side. Due to their low power density, even larger areas are required for biomass energetic use for heat, gas or electricity production. We will (i) determine the power density of 10 biomass categories, including various possible uses in the current Swiss energy production system (primary energy content, electricity, heat and gas), (ii) their spatial representation at different scales (municipality, canton, Switzerland). The study contributes to the Swiss energy transition allowing strategic decisions to be supported, on where and to what extent which type of bioenergy could be used.

The basic information of power density could provide new aspects for the evaluation of the energetic use of biomass, also in the context of other renewables. The study contributes to the Swiss energy transition allowing strategic decisions to be supported, on where and to what extent which type of bioenergy could (increasingly) be used. It could help to improve the feedstock utilization and to optimize the energy system integration of biomass. The innovative power density concept is part of the holistic assessment of biomass in the energy transition (SCCER-BIOSWEET). This project is financed by the Göhner-Stiftung and the Energy Call WSL (Energy Change Impact).

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