Swiss among worst solar and wind performers in Europe

Switzerland would have to increase annual renewable energy production to 70-80 terawatt hours by 2035 to reach climate goals. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Switzerland meets only 4.2% of its electricity needs with wind and solar power, compared with more than 50% for Denmark and 33% for Germany, according to an annual analysisExternal link by the Swiss Energy Foundation (SES). This leaves it far from where it should be to meet climate goals.

This content was published on May 20, 2020 - 10:02

The foundation compared electricity production in Switzerland and the 28 member states of the European Union last year. At 284 kilowatt hours (kWh) per capita, compared with 250 a year earlier, Switzerland moved up from 25th to 24th. Only the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia and Latvia performed worse.

The SES said on Wednesday that it was in Switzerland’s interest to catch up as the electricity sector was becoming increasingly important for climate protection.

Emissions targets

To achieve the government’s net zero greenhouse gas emissions target, Felix Nipkow, head of renewable energy at SES, said Switzerland had to increase annual renewable energy production to 70-80 terawatt hours by 2035.

Such goals require a financing model that creates the necessary incentives for investors, he said. The government sent a partial revision of the Energy Act for consultation in April.

“The expansion of renewable energies is the simplest of all climate protection measures. We only need to use what we have: the sun, wind and water – and our heads,” Nipkow said.

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