With its Energy Strategy 2050, Switzerland defined targets that can only be achieved if renewable energies are expanded on a broad scale. Existing large-scale hydropower is crucial for the success of the Energy Strategy. As a cornerstone of security of supply, it must be maintained and consolidated. As one of the largest Swiss producers of climate-friendly and sustainable electricity from CO2-free, domestic hydropower, Alpiq wholly endorses the objective of the Energy Strategy.
Consequently, Alpiq supports the conversion of the existing benchmark targets for 2035 into binding targets and the formulation of equally binding targets for 2050 within the framework of the revision of the Energy Act. Both of these measures will increase the planning security for electricity producers to enable the goals of the Energy Strategy 2050 to be implemented in a reliable way.
Strengthening the backbone of Switzerland’s electricity supply
However, the achievement of these binding targets, especially with regard to large-scale hydropower, is economically virtually impossible on the basis of the existing framework conditions. Hence, in view of planning and investment security, as well as the strengthening of Switzerland’s long-term security of supply, fundamental modifications of the current preliminary draft revision of the Energy Act are necessary:
The revision of the Energy Act (EnG) must be closely coordinated with the revision of the Electricity Supply Act (StromVG), in particular with regard to the extension of the market premium for large-scale hydropower until the market in Switzerland is fully liberalised.
In conjunction with the revision of the Federal Electricity Supply Act, market-based insurance premiums for energy and services must be implemented in order to ensure that the ancillary services that hydropower provides to help ensure security of supply are appropriately remunerated.
Under no circumstances should the support for modernisation investments in existing large-scale hydropower plants be discontinued – this would be counterproductive.
The improvement of investment incentives for the renewal, expansion and new construction of renewable energy systems must be achieved by implementing an incentive model with conditional investment contributions or auction-based, variable feed-in premiums.
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