Skyguide is also determined to optimise its own energy consumption, and is an active participant in the “Energy Strategy 2050” of the Swiss Confederation. To this end, the company constantly adopts actions under the Confederation’s “Exemplary in Energy” initiative. With success, too: despite increasing automation, skyguide raised its energy efficiency by 37.4% between 2006 and the end of 2018 – over ten percentage points more than the initiative prescribes.
It was to lower energy consumption, raise energy efficiency and promote the use of renewable energy sources that the Swiss Federal Council approved its “Energy Strategy 2050” in 2013. Skyguide was also involved in developing the associated range of energy-saving and energy efficiency actions.
The company is particularly active in three key areas: buildings & renewable energy, mobility and data centres & green IT. For several years now, skyguide has been promoting some 36 different actions, 80% of which it seeks to have implemented by 2020. By 2019 the degree of implementation had already reached 79.9% (compared to 76% for the previous year). Skyguide expects to exceed its 80% target in 2020.
The “Exemplary in Energy” initiative
The Swiss Federal Council has set itself the goal of raising energy efficiency within the federal administration by 25% between 2006 and 2020. And its “Exemplary in Energy” initiative lays down a binding action plan and frames the joint activities required to achieve this objective. The programme extends to the Civil Federal Administration, the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection & Sport (DDPS), parastatal companies, the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH), Geneva Airport and the Services Industriels de Genève. All these partners have undertaken to make their own substantial contribution to ensuring greater energy efficiency and to expanding their use of energy from renewable sources. The initiative has also been opened up to further public-sector companies since 2016. According to the initiative’s annual Performance Report, skyguide is the smallest energy consumer of the currently seven members of the Exemplary in Energy group.
Promoting wind energy
As part of the Swiss Confederation’s Energy Strategy 2050, the adoption of alternative energy sources is well under way. The renewable energies here include wind energy, which, according to the Federal Office of Energy, is set to grow substantially in importance in the next few years. Wind energy facilities should be producing 4000 gigawatt hours of electricity a year – enough to power around a million Swiss households – by 2050.
Skyguide has been receiving a growing number of requests for impact assessments from wind farm operators for some years now. Wind turbines produce clean energy. But they can interfere with air traffic management facilities such as radar, navigation aids and communications systems through their electromagnetic effects.
Skyguide is committed to ensuring the safe coexistence of wind energy facilities and aviation activities. In the video Matthias Fries, Head of the Competence Centre for Wind Energy Facilities, explains how it does so and what challenges this involves.