IEA Reviews Swiss Energy Policy

IEA3 July 2012: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published a report titled “Energy Policies of IEA Countries- Switzerland 2012 Review,” which lauds Swiss electricity market reforms and high levels of oil and gas security, however the report envisions difficulties for the planned stabilization of electricity demand.

The report notes that Switzerland faces challenges as it seeks to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by a fifth by 2020, while phasing out nuclear power. The report further emphasizes that robust polices will be required to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy to maintain sufficient electricity capacity in the absence of nuclear power.

The report comprises of four parts. Part I features chapters on general energy policy, climate change, and energy efficiency. Part II focuses on oil, natural gas, renewable energy, nuclear energy and electricity. Part III is devoted to energy technology research, development and demonstration. The report notes that Switzerland has significant cross-border electricity flows and its reservoir and pump-storage hydropower plants could act as energy storage for the wider region.

The IEA recommends Switzerland to move to a fully open electricity market by 2015 and to rework regulation of end-user energy consumption, which is currently subsidized, to encourage competition of renewable energy sources. The report also recommends: shortening and simplifying licensing procedures to encourage investments in the electricity sector, and aligning its energy polices with that of the EU. On priorities for action, the report highlights energy-related carbon dioxide emissions derived from oil used in transport and space heating, and improving efforts to reduce emissions from private car use. [IEA Press Release] [Publication Website] [Publication: Executive Summary of Energy Policies of IEA Countries- Switzerland]