Bioenergy Resources in Switzerland: Drivers and Projections until 2050

Authors: Burg V, Bowman G, Hellweg S, Thees O.

In the energy sector, decisions and technology implementations often necessitate a mid- to long-term perspective. Thus, reliable assessments of future resource availability are needed to support the decision-making process. In Switzerland, similarly to other countries, only a limited part of the available wet biomass feedstock is currently used for anaerobic digestion. Understanding potential future trajectories of the available biomass amount is therefore essential to facilitate its deployment for energetic use and to establish adequate bioenergy strategies. Here, we utilized extensive government data, historical trends, and data from academic literature to identify relevant drivers and their trends. Starting with current biomass potential, the future availability and variation of resources was estimated by taking into account selected drivers and their projected future development. Our results indicated an increase of over 6% in available wet bioenergy resources by 2050 (from 43.4 petajoules (PJ) of primary energy currently to 44.3 PJ in 2035 and 45.4 PJ in 2050), where a Monte Carlo analysis showed that this projection is linked to high uncertainty. Manure remains by far the biomass with the largest additional potential. Possible consequences regarding the country’s pool of biogas facilities and their development are discussed.

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