Energy Policies of IEA Countries: Switzerland 1999

Energy Policy Review

About this report

This IEA report provides a comprehensive in-depth assessment of the energy policies of Switzerland, including recommendations for policy developments. Although the federal government has been increasingly involved in Swiss energy policy, the cantons retain extensive authority. There is a discussion of the 'Energy 2000 Action Plan' - the core of Swiss energy policy. The plan aims to stabilise electricity consumption, reduce the use of fossil fuels, increase the supply of renewable energies, upgrade the capacity of existing nuclear power plants and stabilise carbon dioxide emissions. The report analyses the reasons for Switzerland's slowdown in fossil fuel use - a trend which has constrained CO2 emissions. To help meet its national commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, Switzerland is seriously considering several forms of energy taxes including a 'carbon tax'. There remains some room for improvement in the area of energy efficiency and the energy tax structure could be more focussed on climate change issues and energy efficiency. The report recommends enhanced co-operation between and among federal and local governments. Regulatory reform in the electricity and natural gas sectors is a priority issue. These sectors are characterised by a large number of companies and significant involvement of local governments in their ownership, regulation and price setting. The report proposes to introduce competition in these industries.