Lukas Füglister and Lukas Frischknecht (SRF Data)
The coming winter could be uncomfortable – at least as far as the energy supply is concerned. The Federal Council warns of both a gas and an electricity shortage. But what is the current situation in Switzerland? How full are the Swiss reservoirs? How are the electricity and gas prices on the energy exchange reacting to the crisis? How much electricity is Switzerland currently producing? The following graphics show the Situation on the Swiss energy market – you will be continuously updated.
The reservoirs in the Swiss mountains are Switzerland’s battery. They can store water that can be used to generate almost 9 terawatt hours of electricity on demand. For comparison: in 2021, Switzerland consumed a good 58 terawatt hours of electricity. In late autumn, the reservoirs should therefore be well filled before they are continuously emptied until late spring. The graphic above shows the current level compared to previous years.
Kilowatt hour, megawatt, gigawatt & Co.
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One Kilowatt hour (KWh) is a unit of energy. You can find the unit on your utility bill. A device that needs an output of 1000 watts (e.g. a hair dryer) uses 1 kilowatt hour of electricity in one hour. A fairly efficient refrigerator in efficiency class D (formerly A) with a freezer compartment consumes around 120 kilowatt hours per year.
current is in mega, giga or terawatt hours traded: 1000 kilowatt hours are 1 megawatt hour (MWh), 1000 megawatt hours are 1 gigawatt hour and 1000 gigawatt hours are 1 terawatt hour (TWh). All Swiss nuclear power plants produce around 22 terawatt hours of electricity a year. This is enough to run 183 million refrigerators for a year.
Electricity production Switzerland
This graphic shows the daily public electricity production in Switzerland, broken down by generation type. The low in the summer is due to revisions in the various nuclear power plants. Production by private individuals and companies that feed energy into the grid, for example from their solar systems, is not included.
electricity price on the exchange
Electricity is also traded on the stock exchange. Grid operators and producers can stock up on energy there. The price on the so-called spot market for Switzerland shows how expensive electricity is currently being traded for Switzerland. Electrical energy that is available at short notice is traded here. The electricity price here has increased tenfold since the summer of 2021.
Production in NPP France
Switzerland cannot meet its own electricity needs, especially in winter. It is dependent on the import of electrical energy. Switzerland normally gets a lot of electricity from France, most of which is French nuclear power. However, the French nuclear reactors are currently producing significantly less energy than usual. About half of nuclear power plants are currently not producing electricity due to planned maintenance or unforeseen repair work. If they don’t get back on the grid in time for the winter, this could become a problem for Switzerland.
Gasoline also became much more expensive in Switzerland in the wake of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Due to the drought, many rivers in Europe are also difficult to navigate, which makes it much more difficult to transport liquid energy such as petrol, diesel and the like to Switzerland. At the end of August there are signs of a slight easing in the price of petrol.
The price of gas has also risen sharply since January, as the price chart on the spot market shows. Gas is traded here, which has to be delivered in the coming month. Gas and electricity prices develop in parallel on the spot market for the most part, as there are many gas-fired power plants in Europe that are used to produce electricity during peak demand. A megawatt hour costs well over 300 euros on the spot market at the end of August. At the end of 2021, the price was still well below 50 euros.
Level of gas storage in Germany
An important indicator of whether there will be a gas shortage in winter is the filling level of the gas storage facilities in Germany. Switzerland does not have its own storage facilities. Despite a significant reduction in deliveries from Russia, Germany is currently on course to fill up its warehouses by the end of autumn.
Daily news, August 31, 7:30 p.m