Due to the unprecedented price volatility on the energy markets, electricity companies are facing demands for additional liquidity to safeguard Swiss production. To prevent defaults in the event of further price spikes, the federal government wants to provide financial assistance to so-called system-critical companies. However, the drafted law goes far beyond this justified objective and deeply interferes with current law.
The amendment of the CO2 Act incorporates the uncontested parts of the total revision rejected in last June’s vote and lays the foundations for Switzerland’s climate policy from 2025 onwards. A larger proportion of the CO2 levy is to be earmarked in future to finance the proposed measures. This revision of the law represents another wasted opportunity to base Switzerland’s long-term climate policy on a pure control system that encompasses additional areas.
The amendment of the Spatial Planning Ordinance will make it easier to construct photovoltaic systems outside of building zones. This relaxation of the rules will create additional incentives to construct urgently needed capacities for the production of renewable energy. However, alpine ground-mounted systems remain prohibited. The partial revision offered an opportunity to at least permit the construction of such PV systems close to existing infrastructure.
The proposed legislative amendment is intended to make strategically relevant infrastructures in the energy industry subject to the ‘Lex Koller’ (the law governing foreign ownership of property in Switzerland). This would mean that natural or legal persons in other countries would require a permit to purchase or participate in hydroelectric and nuclear power plants, transmission and distribution grids for electricity as well as pipeline systems for the conveyance of gaseous fuels or combustibles.
Axpo recommends refraining from this revision. It represents a grave encroachment on the guarantee of property and economic freedom. Simultaneously, it is an ineffectual means of strengthening supply security in Switzerland.