Within the new Energy Strategy, an additional 22.6 TWh/yr is expected to come from renewable energy. Wind energy should contribute 4.3 TWh/yr to this target (with intermediate goals of 0.7 TWh in 2020 and 1.8 TWh in 2035).
Concurrently, the Swiss Federal Council adopted the Wind Energy Conception in 2017. This document sets how the interests of the State should be taken into consideration in the wind project planning process and indicates the areas particularly suitable for harnessing wind energy. It sets an unbinding wind energy target for each canton with wind power generation potential, which the cantonal department of energy should take into consideration in its cantonal energy plan.
Progress & Operational Details
Approximately 59% of Switzerland’s overall electricity production comes from renewable sources, with hydropower as the biggest contributor by far (95%). Wind power generation currently covers 0.2% of the Swiss electricity consumption.
In 2017, no new turbines were installed. However, the 15 MW of additional capacity from 2016 (due to three new turbine and four repowerings) caused an increase in wind-generated electricity of 20% compared to 2016–132 GWh of wind-generated electricity. Future projects that are already advanced in the planning procedures represent an additional 170 MW.
National RDD Priorities and Budget
2017 marked the beginning of a new energy research term (2017-2022), with the following new priorities:
- Performance optimization per turbine and farm: turbine optimization, control optimization, wind farm design
- Reduction of turbine downtimes: technical optimizations, icing protection, wind forecast, avifauna
- Acceptance: accelerating procedures and research between wind power and other fields, such as ornithology or noise research, including stronger cooperation between federal offices and institutes
In 2017, the budget for wind energy related R&D and demonstration projects was approximately 619,730 EUR (763,313 USD). The national Swiss Energy program allocated approximately 1.1 million CHF (1.0 million EUR; 1.1 million USD) to the wind energy sector for information activities, quality assurance measures, and for the support of regional and communal planning authorities.