Vanessa Burg

Vanessa Burg
ETH Zurich | ETH Zürich

PhD

About

25
Publications
5,507
Reads
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347
Citations
Citations since 2017
21 Research Items
300 Citations
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Introduction
In my current research, I focus on sustainable bio-resources management in the context of the energy transition and circular economy. I use transdisciplinary research approaches integrating different methods, such as GIS, agent-based modeling, and surveys for quantitative as well as qualitative analysis. More broadly, I aim to produce scientific and socially relevant knowledge, to support the urgently needed transformation towards a low fossil carbon economy.
Additional affiliations
July 2014 - May 2020
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL
Position
  • Scientific staff member
Description
  • Assessment of the sustainable use of bio-resources as an energy source: Current and future potentials, GHG emissions, spatial distribution, optimal use and management, bioenergy in the circular economy, and barriers to stakeholders' engagement.
April 2012 - July 2013
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees
Position
  • Secondment for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (WASH expert)
Description
  • Remediation and upgrading of the water supply systems in the refugee camps including their energy provision: building-up of a GIS for infrastructure management, contract and construction site supervision, capacity building of local staff, reporting.
October 2007 - March 2012
Jäckli Geologie
Position
  • Engineer
Description
  • Modeling of water and energy flows (FDM, FEM): simulation of 3-D unsteady conditions, modeling of geothermal heating / cooling systems, simulation of groundwater-surface water interactions under different use scenarios. Analysis, visualization, reporting.
Education
September 2002 - September 2007
ETH Zurich
Field of study
  • Environmental Engineering

Publications

Publications (25)
Article
Biomass resource assessment constitutes the foundation for integrated bioenergy planning in order to evaluate the sustainable feasibility and to estimate the additional bioenergy potential. Its spatial distribution is an essential criterion to facilitate the exploitation of the untapped bioenergy potential by guiding industry and decision-making pr...
Article
Livestock farming generates animal manure as a by-product. In comparison to in some countries, manure is hardly used for energy production in Switzerland. A growing awareness of renewable energy needs, resource depletion, and climate challenges make the huge untapped potential of livestock manure very attractive, particularly regarding biogas techn...
Article
Full-text available
A fast and effective uptake of bioenergy can be fostered by identifying regions where both the resources availability and socioeconomic contexts are suitable. This paper uses cluster and hot spot analysis on the spatially-explicit data of bioenergy potential in 2294 Swiss municipalities. The identified clusters, hot spots and cold spots of municipa...
Article
Full-text available
In the energy sector, decisions and technology implementations often necessitate a mid- to long-term perspective. Thus, reliable assessments of future resource availability are needed to support the decision-making process. In Switzerland, similarly to other countries, only a limited part of the available wet biomass feedstock is currently used for...
Article
Today's agro-food system is typically based on linear fluxes (e.g., mineral fertilizers importation) when a circular approach should be privileged. The production of biogas as a renewable energy source and digestate as an organic fertilizer is essential for the circular economy in agriculture. This study investigates the current utilization of biom...
Article
Le bois énergie gagne en importance. Mais dans quels cas est-il judicieux d’exploiter nos forêts pour en tirer cette ressource? Cet article examine l’aspect des distances économiques limites pour le transport de plaquettes, de bûches de 33 centimètres et de 1 mètre.
Article
Full-text available
Manure-based biogas may make an important contribution both to the energy transition and to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Despite these benefits, in Switzerland the use of manure as an energy source is still very limited. The engagement of farmers in biogas production is low and the barriers to their participation are not well known. T...
Article
Full-text available
Biomass transport represents a significant share of the final price of biomass for energy, and transport itself requires fuel, whose combustion adds to greenhouse gas emissions. We conducted a techno-economic analysis of biomass transport for the main forest wood products in Switzerland (firewood and woodchips), as well as for solid and liquid manu...
Article
Im Rahmen der Schweizer Energiestrategie gewinnt Energieholz zunehmend an Bedeutung. Es stellt sich die Frage, in welchen Fällen es aus wirtschaftlicher und umweltbezogener Sicht sinnvoll ist, unsere Wälder für die Energieholzproduktion zu nutzen. Im Vordergrund steht dabei auch die Frage nach den wirtschaftlichen Grenzdistanzen des Energieholztran...
Article
Full-text available
Wood fuel has become central in environmental policy and decision-making processes in cross-sectoral areas. Proper consideration of different types of woody biomass is fundamental in forming energy transition and decarbonization strategies. We quantified the development of theoretical (TPs) and sustainable (SPs) potentials of wood fuel from forests...
Article
The concept of symbiosis, a mutually beneficial relationship, can be applied to food and energy systems. Greenhouse systems and biogas plants are interesting technologies for food–energy symbiosis, because both are usually based in rural areas and offer opportunities for the exchange of materials (e.g., biomass waste from the greenhouse as input to...
Article
Full-text available
The transition towards a reliable, sustainable, low-carbon energy system is a major challenge of the 21st century. Due to the lower energy density of many renewable energy sources, a future system is expected to be more decentralized, leading to significant changes at the regional scale. This study analyzes the feasibility of the energy transition...
Article
Domestic and imported biomass or biofuels used for energy purposes play an important role in many future energy scenarios and national policies. But both the realizable potential for biomass and the environmental consequences of its deployment for energy can be controversial. The aim of this study is to identify environmentally-optimal strategies f...
Article
The terminal wetlands of the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana are driven by the balance between inflows and evapotranspiration. The present situation is threatened by climate change and possible agricultural and industrial development in Botswana and the upstream countries Angola and Namibia. A new balance will affect the spatial extent and char...
Article
The large dimensions of the Okavango Delta, a wetland in Botswana, require the use of remote sensing techniques for integrated hydrological assessments. This article presents a distributed hydrological model of the area, which mainly uses remote sensing to generate input data. Emphasis is put on how remote sensing is used to calibrate the model. Fl...
Thesis
Full-text available
The vast Okavango Delta, Northern Botswana, with its outstanding wetland flora and fauna, is under potential threat from climate change and local development. This thesis presents the possible impacts of global climate change on both the hydrology and the vegetation of the Delta. The investigation was done over two future time spans (2050‐2080 and...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
Bioenergy research is key for the future of our environment. Indeed, bioeconomy and carbon circularity are crucial components in achieving the transition towards a sustainable, renewable energy system.