The Research Centre for Energy Networks (ETH Zurich) in collaboration with the Research Center for Sustainable Energy and Water Supply (FoNEW, University of Basel) recently published the results of a study on the System Adequacy the Swiss electricity sector. The aim of the study was to develop a comprehensive concept for the evaluation of security of supply over all relevant time periods, which take into account the strategic decisions of federal policy.

This study, commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), analyses the future development of security of supply in the electricity sector in Switzerland. With the transformation of the power plant portfolio in the European environment from fossil and nuclear power generation to renewable power generation, the question of the long-term measurement of generation and system capacity in Switzerland, also known as Generation and System Adequacy (or: security of supply) is being discussed intensively. The study developed an overall concept for assessing security of supply, taking into account relevant time periods and possible strategic decisions of federal policy. Different scenarios have been analysed using deterministic and probabilistic approaches. Additional indicators taking into account the importance of hydropower in Switzerland have been considered.

The results of the study show that security of supply in Switzerland can usually be regarded as non-critical in the future as long as Switzerland remains in the European electricity market. No critical situations are expected to occur until at least 2025 and in most cases until 2030. Supply-critical situations are mainly caused by European supply bottlenecks, where the limitations in many situations do not refer to the generation but rather manifest themselves in the transmission system. Problems in the area of production tend to only arise when extreme developments are assumed, such as a sharp decline in lignite and hard coal capacities in Germany without simultaneous compensation through investments in alternative technologies.

Storage Capacity (SP) of Swiss hydro power over one month in the base scenario