The Swiss at the energy polls

The Swiss at the energy polls

Giancarlo Strocchia
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The Swiss Confederation's Energy Strategy 2050, which will be subject to examination by a referendum on May 21, is based on four key pillars: efficiency, renewable energies, nuclear ban and a new foreign policy on energy

The Swiss Confederation at the “energy” vote. Swiss citizens will go to the polls on May 21 to vote on the energy policy reform, approved by the Bern Parliament on September 30, 2016, which sees 2050 as the deadline for implementing the entire plan. A major step for the Confederation, given that the new strategy provides, among other things, for a complete ban on nuclear energy. The reform refers to a decision made by the Federal Council back in 2007, according to which the Swiss energy policy should be based on four key pillars: energy efficiency, renewable energies, replacement and construction of new large power stations (and nuclear power stations), and foreign policy on energy. Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, the Federal Council and Parliament reviewed their decision, decreeing the gradual abandonment of nuclear power. This decision, as well as major changes made in the international energy framework, require a transformation of the energy supply system. To this end, the Federal Council prepared the Energy Strategy 2050, which continues on the path drawn up by the Energy Strategy 2007, defining new objectives and, as mentioned, establishing that the five existing nuclear power plants in Switzerland will be deactivated at the end of their life cycle, established according to technical safety criteria, without being replaced. With the referendum of May 21, Swiss citizens will vote on the first package of measures provided for by the new Energy Strategy, which are divided according to precise intervention sections: Energy efficiency, Enhancement of renewable energies, Nuclear energy, Electricity networks.