ZHAW continues energy turnaround research
After four years of energy research, the ZHAW has drawn a positive balance. According to an external evaluation, the ZHAW has established a leading position among universities of applied sciences.
The ZHAW made energy a priority topic in 2013, following the energy policy discussions at federal level after Fukushima, and invested in the development of appropriate expertise. After four years, an overall evaluation of the ZHAW research focus has now been carried out externally.
The expert report concludes that “over the last three to five years, the ZHAW has established a leading position among Swiss universities of applied sciences in the field of energy research”. In particular, the broad technical, linguistic and social-science expertise is seen as being positive. Another clear indicator is that public funding for the ZHAW in this area has more than doubled, from CHF 6.3 million in 2012 to CHF 13.5 million in 2015. The report considers the ZHAW's participation in four of the eight Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research (SCCER) to be particularly successful. Almost 40 ZHAW researchers were able to contribute their expertise to numerous projects. The ZHAW's participation in five projects of the two National Research Programmes, “Energy Turnaround” and “Managing Energy Consumption”, also reflects the quality of ZHAW research.
The ZHAW will promote further projects in which expertise from different disciplines is combined. For example, the School of Applied Linguistics and the School of Engineering are researching in an interdisciplinary collaboration how energy and the energy turnaround are being discussed in Switzerland and how language influences public opinion. The results are summarised in the edited volume “Energiediskurs. Perspektiven auf Sprache und Kommunikation im Kontext der Energiewende“. A further project of the ZHAW School of Management and Law evaluates the efficiency of the current Swiss taxation system on fossil fuels. In addition, the European Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency, “BEHAVE 2018”, will take place in Zurich in September 2018.
The ZHAW will further develop the focus on energy research by combining the expertise of different research areas.