Top class event of the electricity industry
The electricity industry is currently in a state of transition. It is thus not surprising that the exchange of ideas about the structure of the future electricity supply sparked such great interest and the Swiss electricity congress (Schweizerischer Stromkongress) which was held on 16 and 17 of January 2012 in Berne, Switzerland, was fully booked out. The congress, which is supported by Alpiq as sponsor, has for some years become the top class event of the electricity industry.
The participants, representatives from industry, politics, research and universities, were addressed by high-profile speakers. Amongst them were the Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, Alpiq CEO a.i. Hans E. Schweickardt and Swissgrid CEO Pierre-Alain Graf. They and eight other speakers spoke about the European energy supply, the security of the Swiss electricity supply and about the extension of the transmission grid.
In her keynote speech, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard sketched out the Federal Council's Energy Strategy 2050 and pointed out the challenge for Switzerland. For instance, massive efforts are needed to extend the supply grid. For example, in the next 10 to 20 years it will require between 4 and 6 billion Swiss francs for the replacement or new construction of around 1000 kilometres of electricity power lines.
Hans E. Schweickardt, CEO a.i. of Alpiq, cautioned that he considered the chosen course not to be ideal. The Energy Strategy 2050 with the climate policy and with the phasing out of nuclear energy is extremely demanding and ambitious.