As Switzerland’s largest producer of renewable energies, Axpo plays a vital role the Swiss energy transition. As announced today, Axpo intends to increase its contribution in this area, and, with its subsidiary CKW, realise power plant projects in the range of CHF 1 billion by the year 2030. With this undertaking, the company will support domestic power production and promote the development of valuable winter power. However, much more would be possible with the right framework conditions.
If Switzerland wants to achieve the energy transition and become more independent in terms of energy technologies, the pace of expansion will have to be accelerated significantly. By 2050, some 50 TWh of electricity per year will be lacking, as shown in our Axpo scenario.
Crucial importance of large-scale solar plants
An enormous potential for solar power production currently remains untapped. Solar plants are primarily being built on the rooftops of new or renovated buildings. Large-scale solar plants on open land areas in Switzerland are rare. However, these plants are needed in order to increase the solar proportion in the power mix as foreseen by the Energy Strategy. Particularly in the mountains, large-scale solar plants could make a major contribution because the solar power yield there is especially high in the winter – the sunlight is stronger, electricity production per panel surface is up to 50% higher than in the Midlands.
Axpo has extensive experience in the construction of large-scale solar plants, as can be seen by the project in Disneyland Paris and also intends to implement this know-how in Switzerland. CKW has already reserved land areas where plants that would supply up to 9,000 households could be built, and also established a new business area "Photovoltaic Power Plants". Unfortunately many large-scale plants in Switzerland are currently not eligible for approval or the approval processes are much too long.
Important winter power from wind energy
Through its subsidiary CKW, Axpo is pursuing six wind farm projects in Central Switzerland and in the Canton of Aargau. Some 20 turbines will someday produce clean electricity for over 30,000 households. Planning at Lindenberg is well under way and citizens are expected to vote on project realisation in 2023. CKW was also able to come to an agreement with local property owners and authorities for three hillsides in the Canton of Lucerne and has carried out initial assessments. More projects are in the planning stage. Wind plants produce about two thirds of their electricity volume in the winter half-year – in other words, when power is especially needed. They ideally supplement other sustainable production methods such as hydropower and solar energy.
Axpo's ambitions up to 2030
All total, Axpo and its subsidiary CKW intend to realise projects in the range of up to CHF 1 billion by the year 2030, and produce additional renewable electricity for 165,000 households and heat for 55,000 households. Throughout the Group, Axpo wants to develop a total capacity of 10 GW in solar parks and 3 GW in wind energy plants by the year 2030. The focus is on the development and construction of plants, and some of the solar plants and wind farms will be sold.