BPE | Bioenergy and Energy Planning Research Group

visuel BPE
Welcome to BPE
The research activities of the Bioenergy and Energy Planning Research Group (BPE), formerly known as Laboratory of Energy Systems (LASEN), aim at integrating clean technologies into the energy systems, the environment and the society.

Mission and Goals

Mission
Through research and teaching activities, the BPE contributes to the development of sustainable and secure energy systems in industrialized regions as well as in developing and emerging countries.The evolution towards a sustainable development in the world requires the availability of a large amount of energy. Energy supply, however, is presently dominated by fossil sources (mainly coal, oil and natural gas). To alleviate the greenhouse effect and prepare our society to the depletion of non-renewable fuels, it is essential to promote a faster penetration of renewable and clean energy into energy systems.Besides specific developments of energy technologies, pursued by many partners, our main mission is to design and assess the introduction of new and clean technologies into the whole energy system or in particular energy supply sectors (e.g. electricity, motor fuels, heat and air conditioning, etc.).Energy demand side management is also of great importance in order to improve energy efficiency and consumption behaviours through a trade-off between investments in end-users and supply technologies. Energy mixes in the long term result from technology choices, the processes of which are gaining in complexity due to the liberalization trend of energy markets and the requirement by the society of safer and more environmentally friendly systems.
Goals
According to its mission, the BPE is developing new models capable of supporting decision-making in uncertain environment. These models take into account the presence of multiple actors as well as complementary dimensions such as technology, economy and environment. The aim is to design acceptable and sustainable energy technology mixes with an increasing share of renewable and clean energy. Through teaching activities, the BPE contributes to the education, in energy and energy related topics, for future engineers and managers responsible of energy procurement. Our teaching contributions are not only at the undergraduate level, but also at postgraduate and Ph.D levels, involving students from various schools of the EPFL and using a problem and project based learning process.
Specific skills
The BPE has a long experience in dealing with and solving energy sector problems from a systemic viewpoint, using statistical tools, operations research methods, knowledge-based systems and multi-agent approaches, etc. More precisely, the BPE has developed specific skills in the following fields:

  • Assessment of high penetration of renewable and clean technologies into existing energy systems (biofuels, wind, solar, tri-generation)
  • Integrated sustainability assessment of energy strategies
  • Impacts of energy systems on the environment, integration of energy facilities and infrastructures in the environment

Transfer of knowledge
The services and scientific assistance provided by the BPE are directly coupled with its research activities. The BPE brings its expertise in such very specific areas as, for example: management of energy systems in developing countries, planning and development of district heating systems or electrical energy generating systems. As a general rule, the BPE offers its services to small enterprises, as well as to large engineer companies and public authorities, in Switzerland and abroad.