The five pillars of a safe electricity supply

Electricity demand is increasing, in particular due to the transition to a ‘net zero emissions’ society and economy by 2050. Electric mobility and heat pumps are just two factors that increase our consumption, even as energy efficiency improves. National electricity production is developing slowly.

Christoph Mäder: Preventing damage to the economy

“A shortage of electricity would be a disaster: the absence of electricity or electricity that is too expensive can plunge households into energy poverty, causing enormous economic damage and jeopardizing the achievement of our sustainability goals,” said Christoph Mäder, president of economiesuisse. With each decommissioned nuclear power plant, the risk of bottlenecks increases – according to Elcom, they could affect us as early as the winter of 2025.

Martin Hirzel: Exploiting the innovation potential created by market opening

Only full market opening will be able to realize the innovation potential of an increasingly ‘smart’, digitized and decentralized electricity supply. Innovations in products, processes and business models create new incentives and lay the foundation for further integration of photovoltaic installations and sector coupling technologies. “Therefore, full market opening is a central element to continue the transformation of the energy economy,” said Martin Hirzel, President of Swissmem.

Matthias Leuenberger: Financing at no extra cost is necessary

In addition to the challenge of ensuring a safe and sustainable electricity supply in the future, there is also the issue of financing it. “With financing at no additional cost, we maintain our competitiveness in times of political and economic uncertainty. This is an essential condition for the current and future prosperity of Switzerland,” said Matthias Leuenberger, president of science industries. Economic circles expect swift action.

Solution proposed by economic circles: five fundamental pillars

To ensure Switzerland’s electricity supply, the political world must consider it in a more global way and enable innovative, affordable supply based on a wide range of technologies. With their five fundamental pillars, the three economic associations formulate concrete proposals for the current revision of the European Amending Law:

  1. The business community is calling for an intervention threshold in terms of import volume in the winter, as the electricity shortage threatens especially during the winter semester. We propose to set this threshold at 10 TWh. If it turns out that this is exceeded in the medium or long term, the production capacity must be developed in a timely manner.
  2. Clear priorities must be set in energy and climate policy: security of supply, then climate protection, and finally the interests of nature and heritage. Currently, the interests of nature conservation and heritage are heavily weighted. We therefore recommend lifting the general ban on building hydraulic energy downstream of glaciers, because these areas are precisely suitable for the exploitation of hydraulic energy and are important if we plan to develop this mode of production in Switzerland.
  3. We need technological openness in electricity production: technologies evolve quickly and we cannot afford to close doors right away. This facilitates and accelerates the achievement of objectives. An innovative market environment makes it possible to fully utilize all opportunities in the energy sector. It is therefore also necessary to make preparations for integration into the EU electricity market.
  4. The price of electricity is a key factor for society and the economy. To develop capabilities, it is therefore necessary to seek financing without additional costs for end customers. Moreover, there is also a long wait for the full opening of the electricity market. It creates the conditions for innovation and thus also guarantees security of supply.
  5. Economic circles want to play a major role in leading an offensive for electrical efficiency. But for that you need the right preconditions. Experiments performed with the CO law2 have shown that a “boost”, such as the carbon tax refund2 companies committed to reducing their emissions can get things moving. The system of target agreements must be transposed into the Energy Act.

For all questions

Martin Hirzel, President of Swissmem
Such an. 079 937 76 79, m.hirzel@swissmem.ch

Matthias Leuenberger, president of science industries
Such an. 079 596 14 13, matthias.leuenberger@novartis.com

Christoph Mäder, president of economysuisse
Such an. 079 322 47 81, christoph.maeder@economiesuisse.ch


To the livestream of the press conference

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