Thermal power plants convert fuels into heat, mechanical or electrical energy. They comprise gas-fired, nuclear and coal-fired power plants. Thanks to their high degree of flexibility, gas-fired power plants in particular are ideally suited for the balancing of load fluctuations in the electricity grid. They thus play an important role in ensuring security of supply.
Alpiq owns and operates thermal power plants in Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, Spain and the Czech Republic. The generation of energy in harmony with the environment is our top priority. This includes sustainable resource management and the low-emission generation of electricity. Already during the constructing our thermal power plants, environmental protection and clean air are addressed as key factors. The plants are equipped with certified environmental technology and secure monitoring. We regularly take measures to reduce emissions.
Thanks to their high electrical efficiency and their flexibility, gas-fired combined cycle power plants are among the most efficient conventional power plants. We have shareholdings of up to 100 percent in gas-fired power plants in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Italy and Spain. With low carbon emissions and equipped with state-of-the-art technology, they fulfil numerous requirements such as the ability to additionally supply district heating or quick-start capability. Annual inspections guarantee occupational safety and compliance with environmental management standards.
Ensuring security of supply requires various energy carriers and large-scale power plants that reliably supply base-load energy and cover peak loads – around the clock and regardless of the weather. Our coal-fired power plants in the Czech Republic generate electrical energy and supply process heat and district heating in line with applicable environmental and safety requirements and the social framework conditions of the host country. Since their commissioning, the power plants in Zlín and Kladno have been generating electricity for the region and supplying district heating to public buildings such as schools and hospitals. To ensure occupational safety and further reduce carbon emissions, we continuously invest in modernisation measures.
Nuclear power plants generate vast amounts of base-load electricity. Around the clock. They are particularly important for Switzerland in the winter, when domestic hydropower plants do not generate sufficient electricity and the European countries have an increased demand for electricity. In Switzerland alone, 40 percent of the generated electricity comes from nuclear power plants. Alpiq itself does not operate any nuclear power plants, but holds a stake in the two nuclear power plants Gösgen (40%) and Leibstadt (32.4%).