Swiss government takes further measures to prevent energy crunch

The use of emergency power generators is the latest measure taken by the government to prevent an energy shortage in Switzerland for the coming winter. © Keystone / Peter Schneider

The Swiss government has approved the use of emergency power generators for the coming winter to provide a total output of 280 megawatts (MW).

This content was published on November 9, 2022 minutes

The generators are generally used by municipalities or companies, for example to supply electricity to drinking water pumps or computer centres in the event of a breakdown in the public network.

The installation must meet certain criteria in terms of capacity (ideally more than 1 MW), be able to be operated in parallel with the grid (when it is connected to the grid), and have a sufficient fuel reserve to operate for 24 to 48 hours, according to a government statement on Wednesday.

The government also said it is considering plans to build gas storage tanks to avoid an energy crunch in Switzerland.

Additional funds

Parliament has been requested to approve an additional credit worth CHF31.5 million ($31.8 million) to finance the consolidation of the emergency power units, the connection to Swissgrid's electricity market processes and compensation for operational readiness.

About CHF10 million will be used to cover the costs of additional noise protection measures for a reserve power plant at Birr, about 30km west of Zurich.

The decision is the latest taken by the government to secure the country's energy supply, including hydroelectric reserves, increasing the capacity of the electricity transmission network, a rescue mechanism for systemically important electricity companies, and temporary reduction of residual flows.

Last month, an alliance of companies, government, cantons, civil society and municipalities An energy saving campaign was launched a campaign in an effort to preserve gas and electricity supplies over the winter.

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