Alpiq in: Europe

Ensuring future flows of electricity

Swiss electricity supplies are characterised by reliability, cost-effectiveness and environmental compatibility. Based on the two pillars of hydro power and nuclear energy, they are largely CO2-free.

2050 energy strategy

Following the reactor accidents in Fukushima, the Federal Council and parliament decided on a phased withdrawal from nuclear power. This means that a substitute must be found in the medium term for 40% of the electricity produced in Switzerland. The Federal Council’s 2050 energy strategy plans to replace half the volume formerly provided by nuclear power by measures to reduce consumption, and half by increasing electricity production from renewable energies (hydro power, solar and wind power), fossil-fired production (gas-fired power plants and heat-power cogeneration plants) as well as through imports.

The fundamental shift in the electricity supply system towards decentralised, intermittent production is to be achieved by means of strict regulations, an extension of the feed-in tariffs system, and in a second stage through an energy incentive tax or tax reform. The first package of measures was adopted by parliament on 30 September 2016 and will enter into force in 2018, subject to a national referendum.

50% reduction in total energy consumption by 2050

The Federal Council’s energy strategy also sets high climate policy targets following the withdrawal from nuclear power. For example, a 50% reduction in energy consumption per capita by 2050, a 90% reduction in the consumption of heating oil and petrol, and a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions. These targets are all the more ambitious given that largely CO2-free nuclear power will no longer be available, and could necessitate an increase in fossil-fired electricity production and render imports of electricity – including electricity from fossil fuels - unavoidable.

Our position

In general, Alpiq takes a favourable view of the Energy Strategy 2050. However, the strategy can only work if the domestic electricity generation is competitive. Ensuring this requires policy-makers to create the necessary prerequisites; with the market premium for large-scale hydropower, parliament has already sent out an important signal. However, there is also the need for new market models, in order to restore the viability of domestic electricity generation. This is the only way in which the basis for the implementation of the Energy Strategy 2050 can be stabilised in a sustainable manner.