22.06.2023 | Wind power generates winter electricity
Switzerland intends to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. Power from renewable energies plays a key role here. At the same time, our country must be reliably supplied with electricity around the clock – even in winter when power becomes scarce and we depend on imports. The following seven reasons explain why wind energy is an important component for a successful energy transition.
Wind power is gaining political support
Today, Switzerland’s 41 wind power plants produce about 0.15 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year, which is only 0.3 per cent of the total power produced. According to the Energy Strategy, wind energy must deliver about 7 per cent by the year 2050. This goal cannot be reached today because permit processes for the construction of wind power plants take an average of 20 years.
As a result, the Federal Council declared that the planning and permit processes for the most important wind energy plants must be simplified and streamlined. The Federal Council will issue a statement hereto shortly. In parallel, Swiss Parliament enacted a wind acceleration bill in the summer session 2023. The accelerated process applies to projects of national interest and which are in possession of a valid land use planning decree. The bill will remain in force until a capacity of 600 megawatts has been installed. At the same time, the political debate on the so-called blanket exemption is under way in the course of the Energy Act and the Electricity Supply Act revisions.
As indicated in the latest study by GFS, wind energy is supported by a large majority of the Swiss public. According to a survey 79% of the population support wind energy development. And fifty-six per cent say they support wind even if it's in their own backyard. Nevertheless, strong reservations also exist. In order to demonstrate the advantages of wind power, a direct exchange on site is important but hardly be enough. Financial incentives are needed to get the local population on board so that they can benefit from "their" local plant.