The production of eco-friendly electricity
At Davos Klosters Mountains, we understand that energy is crucial for the operation of our cable cars and lifts. That’s why we prioritise the production of our own energy. We are committed to expanding renewable and sustainable energy sources to reduce our carbon footprint. In addition, our already implemented and future projects also make a significant contribution to local energy production. We generate green electricity by using hydropower and solar plants. If you’re interested in learning more about our efforts to reduce our environmental impact, we invite you to discover the reasons and details behind our commitment to sustainable energy!
Electricity from hydropower
Generation and use
Sustainable electricity can be generated using the power of water, and the Davos Klosters region is an ideal location for this type of energy production. With a difference in altitude and the presence of a hydropower station, the kinetic energy of flowing water can be converted into electrical energy.
To generate electricity from water, the water flows into a turbine and makes it turn with the pressure of gravity. This kinetic energy is then passed on to a generator, which converts it into electrical energy.
The energy generated can be used directly or fed into the public grid, making it available to the public as a source of electricity.
Hydroelectric power stations generate electricity by connecting a higher-lying mountain lake or stream to a lower-lying power plant via penstocks. The water flows down and moves the turbines, generating electricity that is then stored at the local power plants. You can witness this process firsthand at the Bolgen and Jschalp hydropower stations.
One of the positive aspects of our hydroelectric power plants is that we can utilise the existing pressure lines of the snowmaking facilities, meaning no new lines were required.
The use of electricity from hydropower is a crucial step towards reducing our reliance on harmful energy sources such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy. In Switzerland, hydropower already accounts for 56 per cent of the country’s electricity, making it the most important form of energy production – and it’s still on the rise!
Energy production through hydropower
At Davos Klosters Mountains, we are committed to expanding our options for energy production, and we actively promote the use of sustainable energy sources.
In recent years, we have implemented several projects promoting the sustainable generation of energy, and more are in the planning stages:
Bolgen hydropower station
The power plant on Bolgen was the first project of Davos Klosters Bergbahnen developed to generate electricity from hydropower. By means of a turbine, electricity is produced that is fed into the power grid. In addition, in 1997, the Bolgenplaza became the first commercially used building in Davos to be heated by a geothermal probe heating system.
Jschalp hydropower station
At the power station at the Jakobshorn middle station, electricity is generated from water. The water originates from the overflow of the existing drinking water catchments and is converted into electricity using two turbines.
Rinerhorn hydropower station
We have plans for a new hydroelectric power plant on Rinerhorn, which will use water from the mountain streams to produce electricity. In the future, the generated green electricity will be used to cover most of the energy requirements of the ski resort on Rinerhorn.
Electricity from solar energy
Generation and use
To harness the power of the sun and generate electricity, a photovoltaic system is required. This system uses solar cells to capture the sun’s rays and convert them into direct current. This direct current is then sent to an inverter where it is converted into alternating current (electric current).
Solar energy is generated through the photovoltaic effect, which produces electricity without emitting CO2. In the past, the sustainability of solar energy systems was questioned due to the high energy required for their production. However, significant improvements have been made in production processes.
We now know that the energy needed to produce a solar cell is recovered in just 1.5 years. This means that after this time, the plant has generated enough electricity to offset the energy used in its production. Moreover, solar plants are highly durable, as demonstrated by the example of Weissfluhjoch. They have an average lifespan of 30 years and can generate up to 15-20 times the energy required for production.
Electricity from water and the sun ...
- … is both CO2-free and does not contribute to the greenhouse effect.
- … requires 10 to 20 times less energy for construction and operation compared to other forms of electricity production.
- … is at the leading edge when it comes to the ecological balance sheet.
- … can be produced locally and reduces dependency on external sources. In the Davos Klosters region, the geological conditions – such as the high mountains and abundant sunshine – can be used to generate green electricity. The Alps have particularly favourable irradiation values and numerous sunny days, resulting in a solar power yield that is approximately 50 % higher than in the Central Plateau.
- … can be generated using existing infrastructure. For instance, the snowmaking system’s existing lines are utilised for electricity production from hydropower.
in the area of solar power
For years, we have dedicated our efforts to expanding solar plant operations in the region. As a result, we now operate one-third of the installed photovoltaic plants in Davos. This is a crucial step in providing the population with sustainable energy sources that are easily accessible through electricity companies.
Photovoltaics master plan
Over the next five years, the Davos Klosters Mountains plan to significantly expand their production of electricity from solar energy. To achieve this goal, a master plan has been developed to identify suitable locations for solar panels in the mountains. These locations include existing buildings such as lift garages, mountain restaurants, as well as valley and mountain stations. The idea is to gradually equip these buildings with photovoltaic systems, thereby increasing the amount of solar energy that can be harnessed.