Report: Switzerland should get through winter without power restrictions

The study says the electricity supply situation in Switzerland this winter is tense but should be brought under control. Keystone / Olivier Maire

While Switzerland still faces an acute energy crunch, it should be able to get through winter with enough power, a new study reportedly shows.

This content was published on October 29, 2022 minutes

The Schweiz am Wochenende newspaper reportedExternal link on Saturday that a study by the Federal Office of Energy, the electricity operating company Swissgrid and the Federal Electricity Commission (Elcom) says bans on energy usage and restrictions should not be necessary to help the country get through the cold season.

The “System Adequacy” study, which has not yet been published, developed four scenarios for this winter. For three of them, Switzerland should get through winter without bans, quotas or network cuts due to a combination of energy-saving measures carried out by the population, and savings and reserves built up by the federal authorities.

The study says the electricity supply situation for this winter is tense but should be brought under control.

The biggest risk is for a gas shortage. But Switzerland should avoid major problems thanks to hydropower reserves and planned reserve power stations.

But the Alpine country is not out of the woods. Economics Minister Guy Parmelin has already warned on several occasions that the energy crisis will last several yearsExternal link.

But winter 2023/2024 could be difficult, the report says. The situation could worsen because European gas storage reservoirs will probably be empty after winter, and it will be very difficult to refill them next summer.

The Swiss authorities have been preparing for possible energy shortages. In August the government launched a campaignExternal link encouraging the population not to waste energy amid the expected energy crunch linked to reduced supplies of oil and gas from Russia in the wake of its war in Ukraine.

In August the government also introduced a voluntary gas savings schemeExternal link in a bid to reduce demand from households and industry by 15%. Measures are in place to boost water reserves at hydropower plants and to increase gas storage facilities. Ten days ago the Swiss government put forward plansExternal link to create reserve power plants aimed at shoring up the country’s energy supplies during the winter. 

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