After all that...Elcom confirms energy shortage in Switzerland highly unlikely

After all that...Elcom confirms energy shortage in Switzerland highly unlikely

After the multitude of energy-saving plans released by the government and the concerted efforts to conserve energy, brim hydroelectric dams and approve emergency power plants, the climax of all these endeavours appears to be a bit of a damp squib: the Federal Electricity Commission (Elcom) has confirmed that it is highly unlikely that Switzerland will face energy shortages this winter.

High probability that Switzerland will avoid energy crisis

Speaking to SRF, Elcom director Urs Meister said there is a “high probability” that Switzerland will get through the winter without having to resort to any of the government's enforced energy-saving plans. It follows months of speculation about how the alpine nation, and indeed the rest of Europe, would survive without a reliable supply of Russian gas after the invasion of Ukraine - so much so that energy shortage was Switzerland’s word of the year in 2022.

To prepare the country for the possible shortages, the Swiss government began stockpiling energy resources while releasing a litany of energy-saving plans: one for voluntary measures, one for if voluntary measures didn't work and a worst-case scenario for if the crisis deepened. However, for now at least, it seems all that planning may not have been needed.

Hot weather and energy stockpiles the main reasons for energy security

Speaking to SRF, Meister said that the extremely hot weather in Switzerland and Europe this winter is the main reason why there hasn’t been an energy shortage so far. He explained that far less gas has been consumed in Europe over the last few months compared to previous years, and many nations which Switzerland relies on for gas deliveries, like Germany, have made sure to stockpile enough gas to combat shortages.

In addition, Meister said that efforts by the Swiss government have also been successful in reducing the threat, citing the above-average stockpile of hydroelectric power as an example. Finally, Meister said that the threat of a possible shutdown of France’s nuclear power plants - included by the Federal Office of Energy as part of a possible “worst case scenario” this winter - hasn't materialised.

The news will come as a relief to the many individuals, families, businesses and cities that have chosen to follow voluntary energy-saving measures. However, the Federal Office of Energy has warned that the situation does remain tense, with politicians warning that long-term solutions need to be found to avoid an energy crisis next winter, especially if the war in Ukraine continues and the weather gets colder.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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