Which areas of Switzerland would be most affected by a gas shortage?
The war in Ukraine and subsequent economic sanctions have thrown Switzerland’s reliance on Russian oil and gas into the limelight, with the Swiss government scrambling to reduce its consumption of commodities from Russia. Now, data from the federal government shows that many Swiss cantons have areas that are particularly vulnerable to a gas shortage.
Gas consumption in Switzerland
While utility bills in Switzerland are rising, Watson noted that the country is actually well-placed to cope with gas and oil shortages compared to other countries in Europe. The alpine nation's focus on hydroelectric power as its main source of energy means that only 11 percent of Switzerland’s electricity comes from gas. Despite this, more than 45 percent of the gas that Switzerland does use is sourced from Russia.
After Russia cut its gas supplies to several other European countries like Germany, policymakers in Switzerland are concerned that the country could be next. Naturally, some regions would be more affected than others, but according to the data, the most vulnerable regions lie in French-speaking Switzerland.
French-speaking Switzerland at most risk from gas shortages
The three municipalities that are at the most risk of gas shortages are located in Canton Vaud, as many houses in the region rely on gas for central heating, especially when the weather is colder. Overall, the highest gas consumption in Switzerland is found in Basel, Geneva and Zurich, where the majority of homes rely on gas-powered heating.
The most gas-reliant town in Switzerland is Rivaz, followed by Saint-Saphorin and Vinzel - all in Canton Vaud. Post-industrial towns are the most likely to be heavily impacted by a gas shortage, as more than 60 percent of households in these communities rely on a steady supply of gas.