In order to meet targets set out in the Paris agreement, we need to make a global transition to low carbon energy systems. Many countries are facing the same challenges: capping or reducing energy demand, while decarbonizing their energy systems.
European countries including Switzerland are phasing out nuclear energy, which will eliminate a significant source of low carbon electricity and result in a power capacity deficit. How can this energy gap be filled?
Models suggest that the only viable possibilities to fill the gap in Switzerland are to expand electricity production through natural gas, import electricity from neighbouring countries or shift the future overproduction of solar energy from the summer to the winter season through storage – a solution that requires additional research and cost-reductions. The first two solutions are sub-optimal as they decrease Swiss energy security. The first also drives up national greenhouse gas emissions making it challenging for Switzerland to meet its climate targets.
The following are some of the questions that will be addressed during this event:
- What will be the scale of the electricity gap after the nuclear power plants are phased out? Electricity consumption is expected to grow, but it is uncertain by how much. To what extent can demand-reduction measures close this gap?
- To what extent can renewables cover the future electricity demand in Switzerland? After renewable sources are exhausted, what technologies will fill the remaining gap?
- Will the transition require investment in transmission and distribution infrastructure? If yes, who will pay?
- To what extent will sector coupling (power-to-X) and storage play a role in the future electricity market in Switzerland?
- How can utilities balance their needs to provide energy to the public, make profit, maintain positive public perception, and reduce their CO2 outputs?
- International conventions follow the territorial principle, meaning that only direct emissions of fossil fuels burned within national borders are counted as part of the national carbon budget. Is it therefore, the “easy way out” for Switzerland to import CO2 intensive electricity from other countries to fill the electricity gap?
- What role do / can government bodies, utilities, NGOs and corporations play in the energy transition?
Join GreenBuzz Zurich to participate in the discussion about the energy transition in Switzerland and abroad.
Who is it for?
Researchers working on energy topics, public sector professionals working on energy policy and strategy implementation, professionals working at utilities, corporate professionals from different sectors who are working on topics related to energy supply and demand. Also for sustainability professionals who are not working on energy topics but who could contribute new perspectives to the topic.
18:00 – 18:30 Registration
18:30 – 18:45 Welcome by GreenBuzz, By host / sponsor
18:45 – 19:45 Speakers from research and the industry, including Franziska Steidle-Sailer from EWZ and Martin Rüdisüli from EMPA
19:45 – 19:55 Wrap up
19:55 – 21:30 Apero / Buzzing