Any company, such as Swiss Prime Site, that makes a commitment to sustainability must also be very specific in its implementation; for instance, a reduction in CO2 emissions. This is why the real estate development company uses energy from Swiss and European hydropower for its properties. It is procured centrally by the sustainability experts of group company Wincasa via the electricity exchange. How does this work? And how does the company ensure sufficient supply? We went on a walk with Roman Fehr, project manager for sustainability at Wincasa, to find out.
You cannot talk about energy in a meeting room. So we meet Fehr at the Limmat dam in Höngg instead. Here, just a short walk from the Prime Tower, is an impressive demonstration of the power of water, which accounts for 60% of all electricity generated in Switzerland. Water is ahead of all other sources of renewable energy in Europe. Its big advantage is that it generates constant energy in run-of-river plants and thus covers basic requirements. One such power station stands in Höngg. Hydropower is also indispensable in providing reserve power and covering peak periods. It is a highly reliable source of energy and crucial to the much-discussed energy transition.
Swiss Prime Site knows this very well and relies on electricity from Swiss and European hydropower. For all its properties? «Certainly, that is our goal», Fehr confirms. «At the moment, 59% of Swiss Prime Site properties run on clean energy. That means all properties where this is currently possible. The remaining buildings cannot currently access the liberalised energy market, as they consume less than 100 MWh per year. So the smaller monitoring stations are not part of our centralised portfolio. Not yet.» In 2009, the electricity market was liberalised for large-scale consumers, which can now purchase their own power. Discussions about a more comprehensive liberalisation are still ongoing. Such an extension would give Swiss Prime Site greater room for manoeuvre.