Switzerland’s Uncertain Green Energy Future

Country Overview

The Swiss Confederation (Switzerland) in central Europe is bordered by Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein. The population of Switzerland is approximately 8.82 million people.

In 2022, Switzerland’s economy was ranked 20th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on banking, tourism, and the export of gold, packaged medicaments, vaccines, blood, antisera, toxins, cultures, base metal watches, nitrogen heterocyclic compounds, and  precious metal watches.

Environment Policies

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

In 2018, Switzerland enacted the Federal Energy Act, which includes plans to close all nuclear power plants by 2029.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 100% of the people in Switzerland had access to electricity. In 2022, power companies used renewable energy (58.8%), nuclear power (38.5%), refined petroleum (2.0%), and natural gas (0.7%) to generate electricity in the country. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Switzerland.

Recent renewable energy projects in Switzerland include:

  • 9 MW Solar Project – In September 2023, Swiss energy company, Axpo announced plans to build a solar project in the canton of Schwyz at a site 60 miles east-northeast of the nation’s capital, Bern. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2025.
  • 7 MW Solar Project – In November 2022, Swiss energy company Varo Energy commissioned a solar project at a site approximately 20 miles northwest of the nation’s capital, Bern.
  • 2 MW Solar Project – In August 2022, Axpo commissioned a vertical solar project on the wall of the Muttsee dam, approximately 60 miles east of Bern.

Conclusions

In 2022, Switzerland used carbon-free energy to generate 97.3% of the nation’s electricity. However, Switzerland intends to close its last nuclear power plant in 2029, which generated 38.5% of the nation’s electricity in 2022.

Switzerland has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including solar, hydropower, biomass, and wind. However, the nation has been slow to develop new, utility scale renewable energy projects.

Switzerland is a highly industrialized nation. However, it is virtually impossible for Switzerland to build sufficient new, green energy projects to generate sufficient electricity to replace the power from current nuclear power plants.

Switzerland faces an uncertain energy future with either closing nuclear power plants in 2029 or dramatically increasing the use of fossil fuel power plants to replace the power from existing nuclear facilities.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.

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