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Energy Transition from Nuclear to Solar: The Case of Switzerland
A.V. Shah, J. Remund, A. von Kaenel, C. Ballif, Y.S. Riesen, N. Wyrsch
PV Economics, Markets and Policies
Subtopic: PV Global Issues, Policies and Strategies
Event: 32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 7EO.2.4
ISBN: 3-936338-41-8
0,00 EUR
Document(s): presentation


Switzerland is planning its ”Energy Transition”, replacing nuclear reactors by sources of renewable electricity. This paper discusses the first phase of the Swiss Energy Transition – the phase up to approx. 2031, when the 3 oldest Nuclear Reactors now operating should be replaced. This means replacing 8.6 TWh/year of nuclear current. Prime candidate for replacement is photovoltaic (PV) electricity. One often assumes that the replacement will lead to 2 major bottlenecks: (1) a storage bottleneck, whereby the use of solar current would lead to problems of electricity storage, which can only be solved with battery storage; (2) a cost bottleneck, whereby a transition from Nuclear to PV would burden electricity consumers with huge additional electricity costs. The present paper demonstrates, with simulations, based on meteorological data, and on cost figures from the past 5 years, that these 2 bottlenecks do not exist: (1) there is sufficient hydroelectric pump storage and storage regulation capacity in Switzerland for storing electricity from renewables up to 2031 (and beyond); (2) As for additional electricity costs, they are given by the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) costs. At present electricity and FIT rates, the maximum FIT costs will be reached around 2030 at 2 Swiss cents/kWh. This paper will also present comments on likely changes in solar cell technology in the period 2016-2031, as dictated by international developments: These changes should be taken into account, when formulating Swiss Energy Policy.