IEA sees speed problem with Swiss energy transition

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has presented a report on Switzerland’s energy policy. The report is based on an »in-depth policy review« carried out at the end of last year, as the agency does approximately every five years in its member countries. Switzerland’s already low-emission electricity supply system, with its high share of hydropower, forms a good basic prerequisite for achieving the goals of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and a »net zero« energy supply by 2050, the IEA attests. Recent changes in energy legislation are also highlighted positively.
In contrast, the report sees shortcomings in the pace and urgency of planning procedures for renewable energy projects. The status as a project of special national interest introduced for new hydropower and wind energy projects should apply to »all renewable power plants and their connection to the grid,« according to the IEA. Ironically, a day before the report was published, a referendum in the canton of Valais had resulted in a rejection of the national government’s proposed acceleration of planning and permitting procedures for large-scale solar power plants (our news from September 11).

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