Switzerland faces enormous challenges in implementing the Energy Strategy and achieving climate neutrality. A substantial expansion of renewable energies is crucial in order to achieve the objectives. Today, energy policy preferences collide with economic reality. As a result, Swiss energy companies primarily invest abroad. Policy-makers have it in their hands to correct the situation in power year 2021.
In order for Switzerland to achieve its defined energy and climate policy objectives, the country must substantially expand in renewable energies. The Federal Council is aware of the problem. It wants to improve the framework conditions for the domestic development of power production from renewable energies and accordingly increase Switzerland's security of supply.
The Council intends to create the necessary legal basis through the revision of the Energy Act (EnG) and the Electricity Supply Act (StromVG). A proposal including both revisions will be presented to Swiss Parliament by the summer of 2021. Axpo has addressed the individual changes to the laws. We support the proposal’s general thrust, but see some of the measures put forward as inexpedient.
You will find our statements on both revisions here:
In amending the Energy Act, the Federal Council aims to introduce greater incentives for the expansion of renewable energy sources in Switzerland. Axpo fundamentally welcomes this approach. But the planned investment contributions are not suited to investment in urgently needed large-scale plants. Therefore, Axpo is proposing the introduction of tender-based floating market premiums, which are already established in Germany and France. In addition, a risk guarantee would ensure that there is sufficient investment in the long-term preservation of existing hydropower plants.
The Electricity Supply Act defines the framework conditions for the Swiss power market. Overall, the law has proven effective. Therefore, any proposed changes should have a minimal impact on the power market. Not all the proposed changes in the Federal Council's draft are in line with this position. Data exchange and division of responsibilities between ElCom and Swissgrid, the transmission grid operator, create unwarranted competitive advantages. The proposal does not fulfil the remit repeatedly issued by Swiss Parliament and does not formulate a suitable market model to support hydropower.
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