Switzerland has four complementary strategic options for phasing out nuclear power. Three of these are to replace the 24 TWh of nuclear power with other sources of electricity: electricity from renewable sources produced in Switzerland (the “renewable” option), the siting of gas-fired power plants in Switzerland (the “gas-fired” option), and the import of electricity (renewable and non-renewable) from abroad (the “import” option).
The Federal Council has developed three scenarios for energy transition up to 2050. These scenarios determine three plausible futures for energy demand, based on three broad policy directions. They are by no means predictions of our energy future.
Numerous alternative energy transition scenarios to those of the federal government have been proposed, the most important being those of the Swiss Electricity Association, the SwissCleantech Association, the Energy Agency for the Economy and the Swiss Academies of Sciences, as well as those of two federal parliamentarians, Rudolf Rechsteiner and Roger Nordmann.
No, it’s not a good idea. Importing electricity from neighbouring countries appears to be a simple and advantageous solution, at least in the short term. But basing our long-term energy strategy on imports would nevertheless be very risky, not only for our security of supply, but also economically.
The European Union (EU) has a major influence on Switzerland, particularly in the areas of transport, electricity and energy efficiency. Whether it likes it or not, Switzerland must also take account of European energy and climate policy within the framework of its own energy strategy.
No, not necessarily! Switzerland could do without gas-fired power plants if it so decided. But then it would have to find the means to do so; it would have to greatly accelerate the spread of renewable energies, and it would have to accelerate the spread of technologies.