Future of energy supply

Swiss nuclear plants’ service life will come to an end in the foreseeable future. Moreover, reducing petrol and natural gas consumption is one of climate policy’s key commitments. By accepting the Energy Strategy 2050, Swiss voters have paved the way for a secure, clean and affordable energy supply in Switzerland. Solar power and heat will play an essential part in achieving this transition and become the second most important energy carrier, after hydropower.  

  • Potential: 50% of power and 10% of heat demand

    A study based on recent data and carried out by Meteotest on behalf of Swissolar shows the huge solar potential of roofs and facades in Switzerland.

    Solar thermal has a potential of roughly 10 terawatt-hours (TWh); this covers approximately 10% of today’s heat demand. If current demand were reduced by implementing adequate isolation, solar thermal could even cover 20% of our needs.

    Solar power’s sustainable potential is approximately 30 TWh, roughly 50% of today’s power demand. 80% of this potential is available on rooftops, while facades account for approximately 20%. Technical potential on rooftops (if all appropriate roofs were fully equipped) may even reach 50 TWh. Further potentials not reported in the study can be found on parking lots, reservoir lakes, building zone reserves, as well as on pre-affected alpine regions.

    Switzerland’s solar potential: Solar thermal and PV on rooftops and facades (PDF, De)  

  • The official energy scenarios do not take fully into account all the potentials and the rapid decrease of solar energy costs. Solar power can supply approximately 17 TWh of energy by 2035 and replace at least 2/3 of the dismantled nuclear power.  By combining it with other renewable energy sources and achieving higher power efficiency, Switzerland could avoid having to import additional energy. The first milestone we want to reach is 7 TWh of solar power production by 2025. The remaining potentials can be exploited for decarbonisation after 2035, when petrol and gas will have to be replaced.

    This is how we intend to make use of the enormous PV potential:
    Roadmap for photovoltaics development in Switzerland (PDF, in German)