Economics Minister Guy Parmelin also spoke out in the electricity debate at the Arena. With the impending power shortage, the whole of society is required. There were heated exchanges on the show about whether the Federal Council’s energy strategy had contributed to the current situation.
When the days get colder, heaters provide cozy warmth. But are the electricity and gas reserves sufficient for our needs in winter, or is Switzerland sliding straight into an energy crisis?
It is not necessary to declare the power shortage at the moment, said Economics Minister Guy Parmelin in the “Arena”. So far, Switzerland has been taken care of. But he also warned: “A shortage would be catastrophic for our country and society. We definitely want to prevent that.”
Should the situation worsen, power cuts cannot be ruled out as a last resort. The Federal Council has already taken measures to prevent this from happening. Society is also encouraged to save energy: “Every kilowatt hour counts.”
The guests in the “Arena”
- Christian ImarkNational Council SVP/SO
- Gabriela SuterNational Councilor SP/AG
- Christian WasserfallenNational Councilor FDP/BE
- Philip Matthias Bregyparliamentary group president Die Mitte
Also in the studio:
- Aline TredeGroup President Greens
- beat flatNational Council GLP/AG
Moderated by Sandro Brotz.
“If we save, for example on heating, we can already achieve a lot,” Green Group President Aline Trede is also convinced. However, the energy transition must now be achieved as quickly as possible. “If we had consistently followed this path in the past, we would be in a different situation now.” It is now clear that Switzerland must become more independent of fossil fuels and thus of foreign countries.
SVP National Councilor Christian Imark sees the solution, among other things, in a power general who shows what needs to be done in the short, medium and long term to maintain security of supply. As a way of creating additional capacity in the event of a shortage in winter, he mentions switching on storage reserves, emergency power generators or reserve power plants and suspending the determination of residual water quantities so that more water can be turbined.
Criticism of the energy strategy
The federal government’s long-term energy strategy in particular caused a heated debate on the show. The bourgeois parties blamed left-green politics in recent years for the energy crisis.
Environmental groups have “consistently prevented” the necessary future-oriented projects for the expansion of renewable energies, said Mitte parliamentary group President Matthias Bregy. The planned Gondosolar photovoltaic system in Valais, for example, does not reduce biodiversity.
We subsidize billions in photovoltaics, which doesn’t do us any good in winter.
“Within about ten years we have to replace a third of our electricity production,” said FDP National Councilor Christian Wasserfallen. It is a “mistake” that renewable energies could cover the lack of nuclear power. In addition, the proportion of fossil fuels is steadily declining. The import strategy that arose from this never concerned itself with security of supply. “We subsidize billions in photovoltaics, which doesn’t do us any good in winter.” Wasserfallen therefore advocated openness to technology. Nuclear power plants should also be an option.
Photovoltaics actually supply slightly more electricity in the Alps in winter than in summer.
Photovoltaics also supply electricity in winter, contradicted SP National Councilor Gabriela Suter: “In the Mittelland a little less, but in the Alps even a little more than in summer.” The Federal Government’s Energy Perspectives 2050+ assumes that photovoltaics is the second pillar of our renewable energy system alongside hydropower.
GLP National Councilor Beat Flach also demands that solar panels be installed in new buildings and major renovations: “Today this is state of the art, architecturally possible in most places and it doesn’t cost much anymore either.”
This time there were apprentices from Lucerne in the audience. They kept a cool head during the heated arguments between the politicians. Tim Theus wished that politicians would not become alarmed: “After all, we do not yet know whether there will be a shortage at all.” Melanie Huber doesn’t mind the austerity appeals, because that’s nothing new: “My mom always said that you should take a colder shower or turn off the light when you leave the room.”