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Doubts about the energy transition

discomfort. Step-wise nuclear phase-out, linked to less power production in the country, the uncertain participation in the EU internal electricity market: does

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Doubts about the energy transition

discomfort. Step-wise nuclear phase-out, linked to less power production in the country, the uncertain participation in the EU internal electricity market: does The Energy policy in the Council of States to see the security of electricity Supply in Switzerland. Added to this is how you warn a foreseeable reduction of capacity in the near abroad, such as Germany's nuclear phase-out until 2022.

The Federal Council is now to show how Switzerland can ensure their security of supply through a 'reasonable' domestic production. So it requires the stand ätliche energy Commission, in a Motion that has been submitted to its last session, without opposition – a remarkable step: The Commission provides to the majority Ständeräte from the CVP, SP, BDP and Green parties, which support the majority of the people, the energy strategy of the Federal government and the nuclear phase-out.

Loss due to nature conservation

"We must not overstep the mark," says Beat Rieder (CVP). The Council of States looks with concern on the development of new renewable energy to replace the loss of nuclear power: The wind power comes from the stain, the sun's energy less well than they could, in the case of deep geothermal energy is a slow period. "And by the power and water will continue to exacerbate the problems, should we not find a compromise," says Rieder.

The hydropower today accounts for around 60 percent of Swiss electricity production. By 2035, the goal of the energy strategy is to deliver per year, 37400 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity in 2050, their 38600, 1500, respectively, 2700 GWh per year more than today. The Expansion will have to be in reality, but is bigger, because at the same time the water power plants will produce less electricity. Why? As the works were built, the majority between 1945 and 1970, were the operators of a concession, typically for 80 years, without bogs, alluvial forests and other ecologically sensitive areas, which they had destroyed, refurbishment or replacement. The changes in the context of the upcoming Neukonzessionierungen. The water protection act requires higher quantities of residual water, which remain below the dams in the streams and rivers.

The law, however, allows for varying degrees of strictness of interpretation of this edition. The water management Association (SWV) accuses the authorities to increase the ecological requirements of insidious. So will not be parked only on the natural, but also the potentially possible area of distribution of protected species. The riparian reserve would lead to higher and higher requirements.

50 hydropower works

The consequences of this, such as the Association showing in last fall published study: While the Federal government has so far expected a loss of 3 percent of current hydropower production, the Association of 6 to 17 percent. With other words: in Order to achieve the desired development goal, in the case of the hydropower plants until 2050, in addition, an Expansion of almost 2300 GWh, i.e., a total of 5000 gigawatt hours. For the classification: the amount of electricity turbines produce 50 medium-sized hydropower plants or 1000 typical wind. Such Expansion was at least very ambitious, if not unrealistic, says SWV-managing Director Roger Pfammatter. The problem is all the more urgent, as well as from other ecological refurbishment of hydropower – fish-hike – not-yet-quantifiable Production losses are to be expected.

The organization refers to current cases. In the case of of a hydropower plant in Chippis-Rhône, a decline of 10 percent threaten. The Valais cantonal Parliament therefore calls on the Federal politicians to amend the water protection act. The stand ätliche Urek has not taken the initiative yet, but the Federal administration with investigations commissioned. Because: Chippis-Rhône is not an isolated case. In the case of the Muotakraftwerken (SZ), for example, the operators expect a decline of 12 percent to 15 percent, in the case of power plants on the rivers Ticino, Maggia and Brenno in Ticino, it is alone currently had the rest of water 7 per cent refurbishments.

The Federal Council does not agree with the criticism: so Far, the cantons would implement the water protection act in moderation, the economic and energy interests would be partially weighted even more than the ecological. Also, the Federal Council underlines the importance of ecologically valuable, such as wetlands, whose protection for the preservation of biodiversity in Switzerland is of importance.

First results by June

The Federal energy office does not comment on the Figures of the hydropower Lobby. The experts of Simonetta Sommaruga (SP) calculate the potential of water power in new, the results of which are expected in June. Also you can update to 2020, the energy perspectives.

Under the pressure of the water protection through a parliamentary Initiative of SWV-President and SVP-chief Albert Rösti. Hydropower operators will have to make in the context of Neukonzessionierungen only for new interventions in sensitive habitats a replacement, but not for interventions that were made decades ago in the then non-protected landscapes. The energy commissions of the National Council and Council of States have approved Röstis advance already. When you dispute it is a lot of money. Rösti warns of significant costs. Alone at the power plant in Chippis-Rhône, the environmental measures are estimated at CHF 16 million.

Against this Background, SWV, managing Director Pfammatter says: "A strict interpretation of the requirements for the residual amounts of water does not fit together with the energy strategy 2050." The outstanding renovations and the future Concession renewal there is a need for a "moderate" interpretation and implementation of the requirements. Such is related to the statutory minimum residual quantities of water, and don't make additional increases. "We must take account of the existing hydroelectric power production, from an ecological point of view, of particular concern," said Pfammatter, because if the necessary replacement of the current production environment to succeed, friendly, was very questionable.

"no compromise possible"

conservationists recognise the value of water power. Julia Brändle from WWF Switzerland, commented: "The energy transition is without compromising on the protection of water feasible." The big potential would have been solar power and energy efficiency. Also the people with the Yes to the energy strategy confirms its commitment to a sustainable energy supply. Dried-up streams and wetlands, or endangered migratory fish are not environmentally friendly.

The Believe in wind power in Switzerland is always shaken. The latest example is the new wind Atlas 2019 of the Federal office for energy (BFE). The new potential map for wind energy has, in accordance with the BFE in most regions in comparison to the edition of 2016, slightly lower wind speeds. The Swiss Association for a sensible energy policy and spatial planning, Free landscape Switzerland, the new data on the occasion, the Swiss Federal office of energy a wrong game to blame. The authorities have glossed over in 2017 in the run-up to the vote on the energy strategy 2050 of the data and a solid to high wind forecast to happen, writes the Association. They go further and complain a lot to the close cooperation with the "wind lobby," Suisse Eole.

The BFE is defending itself against this accusation. "We can only. data mapping, which we also have available, in 2016, the data basis is smaller than it is today," says Marianne Zünd from the BFE For the wind Atlas data of 396 local and long-term wind measurements were used. The according to sfoe four times more information than the last study. The spatial distribution of the wind resources were unchanged.

Unchanged objective

wind energy is intended to cover in accordance with the energy strategy 2050, from seven to ten per cent of Switzerland's electricity needs. This objective has not changed obviously. The Federal government is certainly on the site of the new wind Atlas ( of the same order of magnitude. New calculations of the Energy Outlook aims to present to the Federal government only in the second half of 2020. "The wind map changes on the potential of wind energy in Switzerland", says Karl Vogler, the national Council (CSP) and member of the Board of Suisse Eole.

The wind card can only be used for a rough evaluation of regions, which are used for more detailed investigations of the question. Vogler is optimistic: "The currently planned facilities would allow to produce about half of the 2050 target contribution from wind energy."

Currently, 37 large-scale installations are AC power and cover less than 0.2 percent of annual electricity consumption.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 01.03.2019, 22:06 PM

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