Lower risk of outages
The fact that it will in future be possible for solar energy to be used locally in many places has an interesting consequence: in 2050, despite the high share of renewable energies, the risk of outages in the Swiss electricity grid is likely to be lower. This is because the grid will be utilised to a smaller extent thanks to the direct use of renewable energies.
On average, imports and exports currently roughly balance each other out over the course of a year. In future, however, Switzerland will import more electricity than it exports over the long run. Firstly, this is due to the fact that solar electricity will increasingly be consumed locally. A further reason is that neighbouring countries will increasingly utilise local electricity generation and therefore have to purchase less electricity from Switzerland.
In order to calculate the potential offered by wind and solar energy, the researchers have created a detailed analysis with the help of geographic information systems (GIS): of the locations for wind power and all roofs for solar energy – the potential for solar parks was not taken into account.
The calculation revealed that the greatest potential for the generation of wind and solar energy lies in the western half of Switzerland – especially around the cities of Geneva, Lausanne and Berne.
The recommendation to politicians arising from this research project: construction legislation should be adjusted in a manner that does not hinder the installation of solar panels on roofs, but rather promotes it. Roof solar energy systems should also be taken into consideration during urban planning measures and by architects during the building design process.