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Energy Perspectives Switzerland 2050+

Client

Federal Office of Energy SFOE

Year

2021


Switzerland’s goal is to achieve climate-neutrality by 2050. This plan will be implemented within Switzerland’s “Long-term Climate Strategy.” The basis for this is a future energy system without fossil and nuclear energies, in which a safe, clean, affordable, and largely domestically produced energy supply is guaranteed. Therefore, the objectives of the energy and climate policies are closely linked.

Climate-neutral energy supply

“Our study shows that Switzerland can convert its energy supply to a climate-neutral standard by 2050," confirms project manager Dr Almut Kirchner. The technologies required, which are either in place or in development, have already demonstrated their functionality and potential contribution to the solution. They will, however, need to be implemented rapidly and comprehensively over the next 30 years.

The key measures are the reduction of fossil fuel use and the comprehensive expansion of renewable energies for energy and heating supply. Since the electricity-based provision of heating and mobility will replace fossil fuels, this means higher energy requirements. Overall, however, the country can significantly reduce energy consumption per capita due to efficiency measures, which will result in the reduction of overall energy consumption. Electrical applications are also more efficient than fossil fuels. But, if climate neutrality is to be achieved by 2050, residual greenhouse gas emissions will also have to be offset via the capture and storage of CO2.

Energy supply 2050: moderate additional costs and lower dependence on abroad

The goal of achieving an energy supply that is as domestic and renewable as possible for 2050 will require increased investment in the renewal, modernisation and replacement of existing energy infrastructures, buildings, plants, equipment, and vehicles. With the net-zero target, this investment requirement increases by a further 8 percent. At the same time, significantly less energy is imported, thereby reducing dependence on foreign countries.

Methodology

The work was modelled using Prognos’ tried-and-tested, bottom-up energy system models, INFRAS and TEP Energy, and assembled by Prognos for overall synthesis. Using these models, the energy supply and demand (especially of electricity and district heating) are mapped in detail on the technical basis of the various consumption sectors and applications, as well as in terms of the power plant park, district heating, etc. The investment cycles and lifetimes of the durable capital goods in the energy system are taken into consideration. The numerous interactions between the system’s sub-sectors, which determine the overall dynamics, are also mapped.

Energy Perspectives 2050+ project page (SFOE website)

Energy perspectives 2050+: Summary (PDF in German, SFOE website)

Energy perspectives 2050+: Short report (PDF in German, SFOE website)

To the press release in German (SFOE website)

Project team: Dr Almut Kirchner, Andreas Kemmler

28.10.2022 | Hydrogen excursus

In the excursus we analyse the role of hydrogen in Switzerland’s future energy system. In addition to a general description and classification of hydrogen as an energy source, we address both future costs and domestic production potential.

27.10.2022 | Hourly values of power generation and consumption

The Prognos Energy Market model maps supply and demand on the European energy markets on an hourly basis until the year 2050. For the SFOE, our energy team examined hourly production and consumption values for Switzerland. The production of individual technologies (run-of-river power, storage hydropower, pumped storage, nuclear power plants, wind, biomass, and others) is shown in each case. 

In addition, the hourly demand for flexible and inflexible loads as well as the external trade in power were also presented. The published data include seven selected years between 2020 and 2050 from the Business-as-Usual and ZERO Basis scenarios with 50 and 60 years of nuclear energy runtime.

The results can be downloaded from the SFOE website:
Documents - Scenario Results - EP2050+ Hourly Power Generation and Consumption values

21.12.2021 | Technical report on the Energy Outlook 2050+

The Energy Perspectives are a set of different scenarios that examine the space of possibilities and options for action to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. In the newly published technical report, the authors systematically explain extensive details.

13.11.2021 | Energy Perspectives Switzerland 2050+ presentation

On November 13, Dr. Andreas Kemmler was invited and attended the “Energy Perspectives 2050/Energy Transition 2050 - New analyses for Switzerland and Germany” information event. After a welcome by energie-wende-ja's president, Dr. Ruedi Meier, Dr. Andreas Kemmler presented the Energy Perspectives Switzerland 2050+.

Among other things, the event served to highlight the costs and benefits of the Swiss and German energy perspectives and to discuss their political feasibility. A comparison of the energy perspectives of the two countries highlighted strengths and weaknesses in the objectives and approach.

Barbara Schaffner (National Councillor GLP ZH), Kurt Egger (National Councillor Green TG), Leo Keller (President of the Energy+Klima SP AG Technical Committee) as well as Felix Nipkow (Head of the Renewable Energy Department, Swiss Energy Foundation SES) participated in a more in-depth panel discussion.

13.10.2021 | Excursuses: Winter energy and biomass in Swiss energy generation up to the year 2050+

The Swiss climate strategy’s objective is to achieve the balancing of annual greenhouse gases (net zero) by 2050 at the latest. Currently, Switzerland’s energy supply consists mainly of hydropower and nuclear energy. Nuclear power stations are to be closed when they reach the end of their service life, which will in turn give increased importance to hydropower stations and renewable energies. On behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), and together with its partner Infras, Prognos analysed the future coverage of winter energy requirements within the framework of the Energy Perspectives 2050+, and the possible uses of biomass in Switzerland's energy system. The results of the analyses have now been published in the form of excursuses to the Energy Perspectives 2050+.

08.09.2021 | Excurses: Energy Perspectives Switzerland 2050+

As part of the Energy Perspectives 2050+, Prognos, together with its partners TEP Energy GmbH, INFRAS AG and Ecoplan AG, prepared a series of excurses. These excurses dig deeper into the role of different power generation technologies and CO2 extraction and storage, in the context of the net-zero scenario (ZERO scenario). The excurses on thermal power and combined heat and power generation, as well as negative emission technologies and CCS potentials have now been published.

Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Dr Almut Kirchner

Partner, Director

View profile

Dr Andreas Kemmler

Senior Project Manager

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About us

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Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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