Government set sights on gas and oil-fired power plants
The Swiss government wants to use gas and fossil fuel power plants to counter potential energy shortages during the coming winter months.
The aim is to produce more than 300 megawatts and complement the supply of electricity through hydropower, the government said on Wednesday.
In addition, the use of about 300 electrical generators is planned with an output of about 280 megawatts from next February.
It asked the energy ministryExternal link and the economics ministry to open negotiations with operators of existing plants.
A government advisory commission had called for the construction of up to three gas plants by 2025 which could help cover the demand, mainly produced by water power, during peak periods.
The government has been facing criticism about its energy policy which includes the gradual decommissioning of nuclear power plants and the promotion of renewable energy sources. It has also been accused of failing to launch energy saving measures.
Over the past three months, the government presented plans to boost the gas storage capacity, to reach deals with neighbouring countries for gas supplies and to speed up the construction of additional power plants for hydro and wind energy in Switzerland.
Switzerland relies on imported energy notably during the winter months, but it exports energy in summer. More than 70% of its electricity production comes from renewable energy.
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