Carbon Flows in the Energy Transition

Source: : SNF

Partner: EPFL, HSR

Duration: April 2018 – March 2019 (12 months)

External website:


In order to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the amount of fossil carbon emitted in the form of CO2 into the atmosphere has to be drastically reduced. The fossil CO2 mitigation is obtained first by efficiency then by the use of renewable energy sources. The latter being daily and seasonally intermittent and stochastic, they require energy conversion technologies to be transformed into usable energy carriers. Furthermore, about 4 % (in Switzerland) of the fossil carbon is used today in non–energy use to make products. In this domain, technologies for Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU, Reuse of carbon) are essential for a series of products that are free from fossil CO2 such as plastics, commodity chemicals and energy carriers.

Efforts for carbon harvesting differ in a wide range depending on (i) the available amount of the carbon in the sources, (ii) the concentration of the carbon and (iii) the energy level of the bonded carbon. There is also a need for a clear strategy for the optimal assignment of the different carbon sources to the different carbon sinks being products or energy carriers. This research project looks at the optimal allocation of carbon sources from the techno-economic and ecologic point of view and by adopting the energy system vision. More specifically, it deals with the estimation of the future demand of carbon in Switzerland, the evaluation of the techno-economic and environmental performances of carbon related technologies, the definition of the optimal assignment for the individual carbon sources and the different carbon utilization pathways and the derivation of the technical and political measures that will help implementing the identified optimal assignments scenario.

Source: B. Meier, F. Ruoss, M. Friedl, Investigation of carbon flows in Switzerland with the special consideration of carbon dioxide as a feedstock for sustainable energy carriers, Energy Technology, 5 (6), 864-876, 2017.

Contact persons: Stefano Moret ( , Theodoros Damartzis (

Publication list

S. Moret : Strategic energy planning under uncertainty. EPFL, 2017. DOI : 10.5075/epfl-thesis-7961.
V. Codina Gironès; S. Moret; E. Peduzzi; M. Nasato; F. Maréchal : Optimal use of biomass in large-scale energy systems: insights for energy policy. 2016. The 29th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, Portoroz, Slovenia, June 19-23, 2016. DOI : 10.1016/
S. Moret; M. Bierlaire; F. Maréchal : Robust Optimization for Strategic Energy Planning. 2014.