The phasing out of nuclear power, energy efficiency, the expansion of renewable energies and a reduction in CO2 emissions – the objectives that Switzerland has set itself with Energy Strategy 2050 are ambitious. And they make our country more dependent on the European electricity market. After all, electricity trading is an important means for balancing the fluctuating availability of hydropower, wind power and solar energy. The electricity industry and the authorities have therefore already been working for a long time on reaching an agreement that secures free access to the European electricity market.
However, since Swiss voters came out in favour of the popular initiative “against mass immigration”, the EU is no longer on such friendly terms with headstrong Switzerland. In the absence of an institutional framework agreement that governs Switzerland’s relationship with the EU, the latter does not wish to conclude any further agreements either in the area of electricity or in other fields. However, this framework agreement, which is difficult to reconcile with the Swiss concept of sovereignty, is hanging by a thread. Does this therefore mean that the energy strategy is at risk of failure and that electricity trading may be impaired? And what is the situation as regards the security of Switzerland’s electricity supply?
This question has been addressed by researchers at various Swiss universities. They conclude that Switzerland, in the short term at least, will also be able to manage without an electricity agreement, even if this entails higher costs. In the long term, however, there is a risk of trouble.