Energy Strategy 2050

Last updated: 3 September 2019

On 4 September 2013 the Federal Council submitted to Parliament the first set of measures in the Energy Strategy 2050. The Council wishes to significantly develop the existing potential for energy efficiency and exploit the potential of hydro power and the new renewable energies (sun, wind, geothermal, biomass). The remaining 5 nuclear reactors remain in operation as long as they are technically safe. The Federal Council stated explictly, that no new reactors should be built in Switzerland and proposed a legal prohibition to build new reactors in Switzerland. The set of measures entails a total revision of the Energy Law as well as changes in various other Federal laws. Parliament approved the law proposal on 30 September 2016, Swiss voters followed suit on 21 May 2017.

The first set of measures in Energy Strategy 2050 aims at increasing energy efficiency and promoting the development of renewable energies. Most of the measures planned by the Federal Council require enacting changes to the law in Parliament. In the course of the consultations on this subject Parliament has rejected certain of these measures, which will, therefore, no longer be mentioned below. However, other measures have been introduced by Parliament. Building Refurbishment Programme: Additional funding will be added to the Building Programme, which started in 2010. The programme subsidises the cost of the energy-saving building renovations and is partially financed by revenues from the CO2 levy on fuels with the rest financed by the Swiss Cantons (=26 federal states). Tax incentives for building renovation: With the implementation of new Energy Act, it will be possible to deduct the costs of a building demolition from federal and cantonal income taxation to make way for a new building. Together with the costs of energy-related improvements, demolition costs can be deducted also in the next two tax periods if it is not possible to fully offset the expenditure in the year in which it was carried out. Emissions standards for vehicles: The Energy Strategy 2050 provides for a tightening up of the current emissions specifications for vehicles. As a consequence, the accepted limit for CO2/km emissions for all new passenger vehicles on the road will be reduced to an average of 95 g CO2/km by the end of 2020. New standards will also be extended to new Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV), which will be limited to an average of 147 g CO2/km by the end of 2020. Both measures have been taken in accordance with EU law. Due to the lack of vehicle producers in Switzerland the importers are the obligated parties. Competitive tenders: Programmes and projects which contribute towards more economical electricity consumption in industry, the services sector and households are supported by competitive tenders. The promotional subsidies are awarded by auction. In this way projects and programmes with the best cost-benefit ratio get a chance to participate. The financing is covered by the electric grid surcharge that electricity consumers pay to promote renewable energies and energy efficiency. These promotional subsidies for competitive tenders are available until the year 2030 at the latest.

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End uses covered
  • Building end-uses
  • Building vintage
  • Existing buildings
  • Transport end-uses
  • Private passenger transport
  • Freight transport