Switzerland’s Energy Conundrum

National Economy

The population of the Swiss Confederation (Switzerland) is approximately 8.76 million people[1]. In 2021, 100% of the people in this Western European country had access to electricity[2].

In 2020, Switzerland’s economy was ranked 18th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy[4] is dependent on banking, tourism, and the export of gold, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, watches, and jewelry.

Environment Policies

In 2016, Switzerland signed the “Paris Climate Agreement”, committing to a 50% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 compared to 1990 levels[5].

In 2017, Switzerland approved the Federal Energy Act, which includes plans to close all nuclear power plants by 2029.

In 2020, Switzerland’s utilities used renewable energy (65.1 %), nuclear power (33.9 %), and oil (1.0 %) to generate electricity in the country[6]. Hydropower is the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Switzerland.

Recent renewable energy projects in Switzerland include:

  • 7.7 MW Solar Project – In January 2022, Swiss energy company Varo Energy commenced work on a solar project at a site approximately 20 miles northwest of the nation’s capital, Bern. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2022.
  • 2.2 MW Solar Project – In October 2022, Swiss energy company, Axpo Holding commissioned a vertical solar project the wall of the Muttsee dam, approximately 60 miles east of Bern.


In 2020, Switzerland used carbon-free energy to generate 99.0% of the nation’s electricity. However, Switzerland will close it’s last nuclear power plant in 2029, which currently generates 33.9% of the nation’s electricity. Switzerland has been slow to develop new, utility scale renewable energy projects.

Switzerland will have to dramatically accelerate the development of new renewable energy or use fossil fuels (coal, oil, or natural gas) to meet the power demands from the shuttered nuclear power plant. Switzerland is facing a looming energy conundrum.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”



[1] Switzerland Population (2022) –  February 11, 2022, www.worldometers.info

[2] Switzerland  – The World Bank Group

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Switzerland

[5] Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] International Energy Agency – World Energy Balances 2018

Share and Enjoy !


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *