Zurich, September 19, 2022. During an extraordinary general meeting, the Swiss Power-to-X Collaborative Innovation Network (SPIN) has elected a three-member co-presidency and a new board of directors from the fields of industry, science and politics. SPIN is now chaired by National Councillor Martin Bäumle, Prof. Markus Friedl from «OST – Ostschweizer Fachhochschule» and Patrik Meli, Managing Director of MAN Energy Solutions Schweiz AG. The new board is composed of representatives from Climeworks, EPFL, Ostschweizer Fachhochschule, Hitachi Zosen Inova, SR Technics, Synhelion and Sulzer. From October 2022, the SPIN office will be located at Swissmem in Zurich. Peter Metzinger, physicist and campaigning pioneer, and Roger Sonderegger, head of department at Swissmem, will co-manage the association.
Swissmem, the leading association for technology companies with 1300 member companies, and SPIN are entering into a strategic collaboration in the field of power-to-X. It is the common goal to make an important contribution to defossilization, to the long-term security of energy supply at competitive prices, and to industrial value creation in Switzerland over the next few years.
A key demand is that Switzerland, with its universities and companies, should continue to be at the forefront thanks to its cutting-edge research, that technology transfer between science and industry should be accelerated, and that Switzerland should once again have access to European research programs in the future. In order to achieve these goals, all actors from science, industry, politics, administration and civil society are to be networked as far as possible. A first milestone was reached on June 23 with SPIN DAY 2022, which was attended by over 160 representatives from more than 80 organizations from these sectors. The results from the numerous workshops will be incorporated into the SPIN strategy; in addition, another SPIN DAY is planned.
Power-To-X is basically the reversal of the combustion process. If CO2 is filtered from the atmosphere and converted into fuels, combustibles, or chemical products by adding renewable energy and water, fossil fuels are no longer needed to do so. Because of the large energy demand, this makes the most sense in regions of the world where there is a massive surplus of renewable energy that would not be used elsewhere due to sparse population. The Fraunhofer Institute’s PTX-global atlas clearly demonstrates that this enables broad diversification of energy suppliers around the globe. At the same time, power-to-X products are chemical energy carriers that are suitable for long-term electricity storage and can thus alleviate electricity shortages. In this context, one speaks of sector coupling.
The new board includes National Councilor Martin Bäumle (politics, co-president), Christoph Beuttler (industry, Climeworks), Thomas Blättler (industry, Sulzer), Prof. Markus Friedl (science, OST, co-president), Prof. Andre Heel (science, OST), Jean Marc Lenz (industry, SR Technics), Patrick Lura (industry, Hitachi Zosen Inova), Patrik Meli (industry, MAN ES, co-president), Philipp Furler (industry, Synhelion), and Yasmine Calisesi (science, EPFL).
Based on requests from members, the General Assembly also decided that SPIN should engage for consistent, effective, and technology-neutral net CO2 accounting of all energy sources – including imports – as well as direct capture of CO2 from the air.