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Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW) 2011Theoretically, renewable energies in Switzerland have sufficient potential to cover national demand. As yet, however, they play only a subordinate role. There is a need for research and development to lower costs. Wind and solar energy have the disadvantage that they are not continuously available. This situation needs to be remedied through technical conversion and storage processes such as pumped-storage power plants or new types of battery. The development and above all expansion of the use of renewable energies are not just technical and economic matters but also require the cooperation of society. Without the active involvement of the population the way towards total supply becomes inaccessible, since it is the people as voters, consumers and investors who directly determine the energy future. To assist them in their decision-making they should have access to reliable and comprehensible information highlighting the possibilities of renewable energies but also the challenges that they present.