On Sunday, 58 percent of the Swiss voted for the proposed Energy Strategy 2050. Starting in 2018, when the law takes effect, Switzerland will begin a nuclear phaseout and a transition to renewables – although the country already has nearly carbon-free electricity supply. Craig Morris takes a look.
At the end of November, Switzerland clearly rejected a proposal by the Greens for a fast closure of the country’s five reactors, leaving the Swiss with a phaseout plan without a roadmap. Opponents argued that a power shortage would be more likely if so many reactors are switched off so quickly. A look a France reveals that have a point. By Craig Morris.
The operator of Switzerland’s nuclear reactors, Alpiq, reportedly offered reactors to France’s EDF at no cost or “a symbolic franc.” The French, who have their hands full with their own struggling fleet at home, refused the offer. A potential power shortfall still looms in the background. Craig Morris explains.
The final report of a Finnish proposal for a pilot basic income project will be out in mid-November. The Germans want to combine eco-taxes with basic income. A new proposal in the US also shows how environmental taxation can be used to redistribute wealth. Low-income households pay a larger share of their income on energy, but wealthy households spend more on energy in absolute terms. And what if we take it a step further and pay back this tax revenue as unconditional basic income (UBI)? Craig Morris explains.
Another setback for the “nuclear renaissance”: Switzerland voted on Friday to focus more on renewables and efficiency. For the first time ever, new nuclear plants are officially off the table—though admittedly, none were planned. The Swiss just “adopted the Energiewende,” writes the Neue Züricher Zeitung. Is no one paying attention? Craig Morris has the details.
Today, Craig Morris is back with a new chart added to our e-book this year. It concerns Germany’s development bank—and it stems from coverage of solar in Germany at the Economist.
The bilateral relations between Switzerland and the EU have been clouded after the successful immigration referendum. That’s negatively impacting the negotiations about an energy agreement which should enable Switzerland to participate in the European internal energy market. Alexander Steinfeldt explains.
The Swiss and Danish electricity sectors have quite a bit in common. Both are flooded with electricity from all sides. Yet, their power mixes are very different. The Danes have mainly wind and coal; the Swiss, primarily nuclear and hydro. The power lines were mainly built for coal and nuclear. Craig Morris takes a look.
In August, the fifth of five nuclear plants in Switzerland went off-line, but only for two days. There were no blackouts. Craig Morris investigates.
The summer is drawing to a close in Europe, and it was one of the hottest ever. Thermal power plants (coal and nuclear) had to ramp down production in numerous countries due to a lack of cooling water, but the heat also affected solar power production. Craig Morris reports.