Switzerland on the verge of introducing highest geothermal FIT in the world
This Sunday, the population of Switzerland is voting on the acceptance on a new and far reaching energy legislation and government strategy. If successful, it would create among the highest feed-in-tariffs for geothermal energy.
A few weeks ago, we reported on proposed new legislation for the energy market in Switzerland. Having passed the parliament, the new energy law, titled “Energy Strategy 2050” will now go through a popular vote that either confirms or kills the legislation.
The new strategy and legislation would provide “billions of Swiss francs” (CHF1 billion is approximately $1 billion) in subsidies to support renewable energy power generation and energy efficiency efforts, while banning new nuclear power plants.
The goal is to increase solar, wind, biomass and geothermal energy output from 2,831 GWh now, or just 4.3 percent of Swiss generation, to 11,400 GWh by 2035.
The legislation would also ban new nuclear plants ahead of the eventual phase out of the country’s five nuclear power plants, with the first one closing in 2019.
The legislation would provide new feed-in-tariffs of CHF 0.475/ kWh ($0.479/ kWh) for electricity from petrothermal geothermal production. If the popular vote supports the legislation, the new law could enter into force in 2018. as we reported in February this year. This would require a hike in charges on electricity users to help raise up to CHF480 million ($485 million) a year to subsidise energy production from solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and water power.
The legislation would further elevate renewable energy to “national interest” status, helping them overcome legal challenges over a project’s environmental or aesthetic impact.