Alpiq believes the following three basic requirements must be met to ensure the successful transformation of the electricity system:
Market liberalisation and its full and speedy implementation.
Unless the Swiss market is fully liberalised, an electricity accord with the EU is virtually impossible to achieve. There is a risk that Switzerland and the electricity industry would suffer serious economic and competitive disadvantages if left permanently outside the liberalised European electricity and gas market.
The rapid conclusion of a sustainable electricity accord.
While this accord must not be concluded at any cost, it is essential for the import strategy implied by the new energy policy. It is scarcely realistic to assume that a reliable import policy can be pursued without political acceptance on the part of the EU, not least in view of the requirements arising from the Lisbon Treaty. Moreover, without an electricity accord the industry runs the risk of being barred from the intraday and day-ahead market as from 1 January 2014. Yet both are essential for security of supply.
Appropriate framework conditions as well as legal and investment security.
The proposed legislation does not cover the entire strategy. The bill is largely incomplete and must in any case cover the second phase from 2020 onwards, including all accompanying measures. A great deal of uncertainty still surrounds the future fiscal regime (incentive taxes, CO2 tax, ecological tax reform) as well as access to the ETS, the market-distorting subsidies and the unresolved question of reversion.
Alpiq takes the view that only when these points are clarified can the sector and affected industries in Switzerland accurately determine the implications and the extent to which the legislation is enforceable under market conditions. Unless the above points are addressed, Alpiq believes there are serious gaps in the 2050 energy strategy and fears this will cause lasting harm not only to the energy sector but also to industry, jobs and the entire economy.
Planning and legal security are essential for long-term investments. Only if these are assured can Alpiq support the full package. Alpiq is willing to work constructively to help formulate an effective bill.