The 2010 Swiss Solar Energy Prize has been awarded to the ground-breaking solar energy system created by Romande Energie and mounted on the recently inaugurated offices of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The Swiss Solar Energy Prize, administered by the Swiss Federal Office for Energy, rewards individuals and institutions who have made a commitment to use solar energy, innovative energy-efficient buildings, and other facilities that use renewable energy.
During a ceremony that took place today in Zurich, the new Headquarters’ building of IUCN was awarded the Solar Energy Prize in the “new and innovative construction” category; the solar energy system created by Romande Energie on this site was singled out for praise.
The system is perfectly integrated in the flat roof of IUCN’s new Conservation Centre. With Minergie-P-Eco certification, the building is exemplary both from an architectural point of view and from an energy-efficiency perspective. With a surface area of 1,400 m2, this new solar energy system supplies half of all the energy needs of the building and feeds the building’s heat pumps. The system, which was entirely funded by Romande Energie, cost a little over Swiss francs one million.
The Solar Energy Prize awarded today rewards IUCN for making its global Headquarters a model of ecologically-friendly construction and rewards Romande Energie’s commitment to focusing on increased production from renewable energy sources.
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Notes for editors
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature has achieved a significant milestone in its 60-year history. The organization has transformed its Headquarters into a new Conservation Centre. This ultra-modern complex will strengthen IUCN’s position as the most important global environmental network. It will also facilitate the creation of partnerships for collective action among the conservation community, governments, the private sector, and civil society. The global Headquarters of IUCN, situated on the banks of Lake Leman in Gland, is a model of sustainable construction having been awarded MINERGIE and LEED certification. Thanks to its solar energy system, which produces some 145 Mégawatts (MW) per year, IUCN is clearly demonstrating its commitment towards renewable energy.
Romande Energie’s commitment to solar power and other renewable energy sources
Thanks to the solar parks that it has created or planned to date, Romande Energie has supplied some 40,000 m2 of solar panels in the last three years, representing a total investment of more than Swiss francs 35 million. Through its focus on large-scale power stations, optimal integration of its systems, and participation in research and development programmes, Romande Energie is contributing towards optimizing the potential and energy yield of solar technologies. These investments are commensurate with the strategy that the group has implemented to increase its production of new and renewable sources of energy (solar, wind, biomass, small-scale hydro); the aim is that by 2020-2025, 10% of electricity supplied to its clients will come from these sources.
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The Romande Energie Group in brief
The Romande Energie Group supplies electricity to 280,000 direct customers (representing a population of some 500,000 individuals) in 318 communes in the cantons of Vaud, Valais, Fribourg and Geneva, making it one of the five main suppliers of electricity in Switzerland. Its core activities are the production, distribution and sale of electricity along with the management of electricity grids. The priorities of the Group are to: offer its clients first-rate, high quality services and to guarantee the supply of reliable, sustainable and competitively-priced electricity; develop its own production capacity primarily through investments in new sources of renewable energy; promote innovative solutions for energy efficiency.
For more information on the Romande Energie Group, please see www.romande-energie.ch
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.
IUCN works on biodiversity, climate change, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,000 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.