The Swiss government has approved a plan to speed up construction of solar, wind and hydroelectric power stations to reduce Switzerland’s dependence on foreign suppliers.
A bill drawn up by the economics ministry and approved by cabinetExternal link includes speeding up planning and authorisation procedures for power plants of national interest. Appeal procedures will also be shortened. The bill needs to be approved by parliament, which the government hopes will happen this autumn.
According to Frank Rutschmann, head of the Renewable Energies section at the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), it can currently take up to 20 years from the launch of a project to its completion.
On June 18, Swiss voters approved a new law that seeks to speed up the country’s shift from fossil fuels and reach zero emissions by 2050. Stephan Scheidegger of the federal development planning office said approval of the Climate Protection Act means that more electricity will have to be generated in Switzerland from renewable sources.
Solar panels gain ground
Meanwhile, solar panels gained ground in Switzerland last year, the solar industry’s trade association Swissolar announced on Friday. More systems were built and put into operation than ever before.
Solar energy is becoming increasingly important in the Swiss electricity mix, it says. Swissolar estimates that solar power contributed 5.8% to the country’s electricity supply last year, compared with 4.9% in 2021. The association expects further growth in construction of new plants of about one fifth in 2023. The order books of most companies are full, writes Swissolar.