Supplying Swiss buildings with a combination of renewable energy sources


Estimating the hybrid renewable energy potential (HyREP) of an urban area is challenging. The aim of this project is to develop a novel, coherent approach to forecasting HyREP in Switzerland using Big Data technologies and contemporary machine learning methods.

Portrait / project description (ongoing research project)

Buildings represent the largest share of the energy demand in Switzerland. They account for more than 40% of the overall energy demand and more than 32% of the electricity demand. To reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, buildings need to become much more energy-efficient and to rely primarily on renewable energy resources. Accordingly, estimating HyREP for the built environment is becoming a very important issue in Switzerland, particularly for municipalities, building owners and public utilities. Such estimates provide very useful information regarding potential energy generation and energy savings.


HyREP systems combine solar, wind and shallow geothermal energy. In the building sector, such systems substantially reduce the size of standalone energy systems, the required energy storage capacity and total operating costs. In view of the energy transition, it is important to assess the combined potential of renewable energy resources for the built environment using Big Data to support stakeholders’ decisions and policies for buildings in Switzerland.


This project aims at assessing HyREP in the built environment, rather than focusing on the potential for individual sources. In addition, we plan to develop data-driven approaches for modelling environmental data and for analysing 3D building data. We will also analyse our results according to climate scenarios projected for 2035 and 2050, provide a Building Renewable Energy Database and create renewable energy maps to support decision-making processes.


Using Big Data technologies, our project will make it possible to assess for the first time how much of the energy demand from buildings can be reduced throughout Switzerland. The results are likely to influence urban energy policies in this country, but the data-driven methods can also be used for other countries. The Building Renewable Energy Database will allow us to visualise energy savings and supply for individual buildings as well as for groups of buildings anywhere in Switzerland.

Original title

Hybrid renewable energy potential for the built environment using big data: forecasting and uncertainty estimation

Project leaders

  • Professor Jean-Louis Scartezzini, Laboratoire d'énergie solaire et physique du bâtiment, EPFL
  • Dr. Nahid Mohajeri Pour Rayeni, Laboratoire d'énergie solaire et physique du bâtiment, EPFL
  • Professor Mikhail Kanevski, Institut of Earth Surface Dynamics, IDYST, University of Lausanne



Further information on this content


Professor Jean-Louis Scartezzini Laboratoire d'énergie solaire et physique du bâtiment EPFL - ENAC - IIC - LESO-PB Bâtiment LE LE1104 Station 18 1015 Lausanne

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