Energy experts warn of possible power shortages

The reservoir with the elegant dam near Château-d'Oex is one of more than 50 artificial lakes in the Swiss Alps. Keystone/Alessandro Della Bella

Switzerland could face electricity and gas shortages in winter despite sufficient supplies at the moment and considerable reserves, experts say.

This content was published on July 20, 2022 minutes

“We’re witnessing the first global energy crisis, with Europe at the centre,” the head of the Federal Office of Energy, Benoît Revaz, told a news conference on Wednesday.

He said efforts were underway to ensure energy supplies in the coming winter months, including an awareness campaign to encourage energy saving.

The head of the government’s advisory commission for electricity, Elcom, said the water levels of the reserves in the Alps were at a long-term average.

However, electricity production is comparatively low due to a dry spell and an early glacier melting season this year, according to Elcom director, Urs Meister.


The Swiss electricity industry urged citizens to reduce energy consumption, notably hot water in households and lowering heating temperatures from autumn onwards.

The government has prepared a series of measures, including appeals to the population before resorting to rationing.

The consumption of natural gas could be reduced by 5% with voluntary measures according to experts.

They estimate that official energy saving measures could help cut consumption by up to 30% compared with current levels.

The Swiss government three weeks ago, outlined possible scenarios to compensate for potential shortages of Russian gas deliveries as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.

The plans include deals with neighbouring Germany, France and Italy for gas supplies and plans to speed up the construction of additional power plants for hydro and wind energy in Switzerland.

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