IEA warns of challenges from Swiss nuclear phase-out

10/10/2018 09:01 Nuclear

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Switzerland's phased withdrawal from nuclear power presents challenges for maintaining its electricity security, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says in the report “Energy Policies of IEA Countries: Switzerland 2018 Review”.

Switzerland made an important progress on energy efficiency, as the country's energy consumption was at the same level in 2016 as it was in 2000, even though its population grew by 15% and its economy expanded by 30%.

 

But, the Paris-headquartered agency said, achieving the country's emission reduction targets for 2020 looks ambitious based on current trends, and additional climate policies are urgently needed for the post-2020 period to help achieve the country's binding 2030 climate goals.

 

Further investment in hydropower should be encouraged through a reform of the water royalty linked to electricity market prices, it said, but Switzerland will be increasingly relying on imports from its European neighbours to meet electricity demand, especially during the winter months when low water levels impact production from hydro plants.

 

Switzerland's hydro capacity can also function as a battery for the growing share of variable renewable energy in Europe, the IEA said.

 

Switzerland's CO2 levy on fossil fuels and its automatic upward adjustment in case intermediate emission targets are not met, has proven highly effective in shifting energy demand from oil towards gas and renewables, and supporting investments in energy efficiency, he said.

 

A new Swiss energy policy was sought in response to the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. Two months later, both the Swiss parliament and government decided to exit nuclear power production. The Energy Strategy 2050 initiative drawn up by the Federal Council calls for a gradual withdrawal from nuclear energy. It also foresees expanded use of renewables and hydro power but anticipates increased reliance on fossil fuels and electricity imports as an interim measure.

Source: world-nuclear-news.org

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