The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) is the largest research center for natural and engineering sciences in Switzerland and performs world-class research in three main subject areas: Structure of Matter; Energy and the Environment; and Human Health.
The Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis (LEA) is an interdepartmental laboratory of the energy departments at the PSI. It combines specific analytical research methods concerning all energy systems (nuclear, fossil and renewable) of relevance for energy policy issues with the aim of providing broad and comprehensive scientific findings to decision makers and stakeholders. LEA is shared over three working groups addressing the following specific fields: Technology Assessment, Energy Economics and Risk & Human Reliability.

The Technology Assessment group (TA) is a multidisciplinary team which assesses energy and transport systems according to their environmental, human health, economic and risk related impacts. Key methods and competences of the TA include process-oriented Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), comparative risk assessment, internal and external cost analysis, Electric Sector Simulation (ESS), heuristics & dynamic programming, and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). Ultimately it includes integrated sustainability evaluation, including stakeholder interaction. This comprehensive approach has been applied to a wide variety of projects in the electric sector as well as to heating and transport systems.


Dr. Stefan Hirschberg is the Head of the LEA at PSI. He manages a number of projects for energy and environmental
authorities, for electrical utilities and vendors, and within international programs.

Dr. Peter Burgherr leads the inter-disciplinary Technology Assessment group at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) which carries out comprehensive assessments of energy systems to support the complex decision-making processes towards a sustainable energy future. His primary research interest is the comparative analysis of accident risks in the energy sector, and its relevance in the broader context of energy security and critical infrastructure protection. He is also the primary responsible for PSI’s database ENSAD (Energy-Related Severe Accident Database), which is the world’s largest database on severe accidents in the energy sector. Furthermore, he is strongly involved in the sustainability assessment of current and future energy technologies as well as their evaluation within Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA).

Dr. Matteo Spada is a risk analyst in the Technology Assessment group of the Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis at PSI since 2013. His primary research interests are the comparative analysis of severe accident risks in the energy sector, and its relevance in the broader context of sustainability, energy security, critical infrastructure protection, and decision support. Further topics include the risk of rare but severe accidents related to production and consumption of energy using advanced statistical methods (e.g. Bayesian Statistics), formal uncertainty estimation, and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA).

Dr. Warren Schenler is responsible for the economic cost analysis of electric power systems, including generation technologies, systems interactions and multi-attribute, multi-scenario analysis. His other responsibilities include multicriteria decision analysis, heuristic vehicle modelling, and analysis of cogeneration, geothermal, wave and hydrogen energy technologies.

Karin Treyer joined the Technology Assessment group as a Life Cycle Analyst in autumn 2011. She was responsible for the update and extension of the Life Cycle Inventory data on global power generation and electricity mixes for the ecoinvent database version 3 and is still strongly engaged in the further development of the database in general. She is also engaged in projects on deep geothermal energy, fuel cells, energy storage, and in the new Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research.


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