This week, Benoît Revaz, head of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), said there is an unprecedented level of uncertainty in Europe concerning energy provision, reported RTS.
Prices have been seriously affected by the war in Ukraine and Switzerland has not been spared, said Revaz. We are now experiencing the first global energy crisis with Europe at the epicentre.
A central element of Revaz’s plan to get Switzerland through the crisis is reduced consumption and the need for an awareness campaign to encourage the population to cut energy use, something that should be in place by the end of August.
In addition, Switzerland is in the process of negotiating a deal with Germany to keep gas flowing and aims to start discussions with Italy. Discussions are also taking place related to hydro energy.
Michael Frank, head of the Swiss electricity association, thinks the risk of an electricity shortage is real. Doing nothing is not an option, said Frank.
The first line of defence against a black out is to call on businesses and the public to voluntarily cut consumption. The second phase would be to ban certain unnecessary forms of consumption, for example saunas and illuminated advertisements. The third phase would be to set quotas for large users. Then finally, if required, to introduce energy rationing. This would involve intermittently cutting the power supply to certain users in certain regions.
The plan is causing concern for some businesses and some electricity suppliers have warned of the anger such actions may trigger among the bosses of some businesses.