Swiss parliament approves measures for rapid solar expansion

The AlpinSolar plant in the Glarus Alps, Switzerland. Image source: Axpo (handout)

September 19 (Renewables Now) - The Swiss parliament has approved legal changes on climate protection and a draft bill designed to make the installation of solar panels on new buildings mandatory as well as ease rules for new solar plants in the alpine region.

The proposals, which were recommended by the Energy Commission of the Federal Council of States in August, were passed in a 39 to four vote with two abstentions.

The discussed measures are meant to facilitate and support the rapid implementation of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the alpine region in order to beef up the power supply across the country in the winter. Such projects should be subject to an accelerated approval procedure and get a one-time subsidy from the federal government that covers between 50% and 60% of their investment costs. To receive such support, the solar system must generate at least 10 GWh of electricity per year, of which at least 45% must be supplied in the winter months.

The planning, approval and construction of these projects must be done quickly so that at least some of the systems are connected to the grid by the end of 2025.

In addition, these measures should only apply until a capacity for the generation of 2 TWh of power has been added.

The Council of States insists that the law on the urgent measures for a secure winter power supply in the short term should be dealt with separately from the other issues that were discussed during its session last week.

Under the plan, the new law should come into force after the autumn session and apply until the end of 2025. After that, it will be replaced by the general ordinance on energy and electricity supply, which the parliament is currently preparing.

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Anna is a DACH expert when it comes to covering business news and spotting trends. She has also built a deep understanding of Middle Eastern markets and has helped expand Renewables Now's reach into this hot region.

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