The Swiss energy sector is experiencing electricity shortages, particularly during the winter. The upcoming winter could result in rolling outages, forcing the Swiss to brace themselves for difficult times. Thanks to hydropower, Switzerland has one of the cleanest sources of electricity in Europe, but it is not enough for a stable power supply, especially in winter. Reports indicate Five point seven billion kilowatt hours of power was imported in 2021, primarily from France and Germany. The Swiss government and Federal Council are concerned that the nation may see power import limits over the winter as a result of shortages in France and Germany due to the catastrophic energy situation in Europe.
To avoid a nationwide blackout, the Federal Council has decided on a radical four-level savings programme which includes innocuous appeals from energy savers. In the event of severe shortages, 34,000 end consumers with an annual consumption of at least 100 MW*h could be cut off – also temporarily. More than 110,000 electric vehicle owners would then only be allowed to make “absolutely necessary journeys”, i.e., it is planned to ban electric vehicles completely during rolling blackouts. The rest of the time, they are advised to limit themselves to important trips to work, to the grocery shop, to the doctor, to the courthouse or to church. Focus.de writes about it
The Swiss Confederation’s draft of 23 November, entitled “Ordinance on Restrictions and Prohibitions on the Use of Electricity”, stipulates the strongest measures that can be taken in the four escalation stages in the event of an energy shortage. For example, there are measures under which washing machines can be operated at a temperature of no more than 40 degrees Celsius. Refrigerators must not be cooled below 6 degrees Celsius. Anything that serves only comfort, such as saunas and steam baths, may be used in a limited way and only in your own home.
Each phase of the measures is intended to avoid worse consequences and harsher measures, the Federal Council stressed. The rules will come into force gradually in the event of power shortages and adapt to the situation, the government assures.
Energy in Switzerland is mainly based on hydropower (55.3%) and nuclear power plants (40%). The remaining 4.7 % is a combination of conventional power generation and renewable energies. There are about 640 hydroelectric power plants in Switzerland. However, due to the exhaustion of technical potential and the negative impact of hydroelectric power plants on local aquatic ecosystems, the country has reached its limit of large-scale hydro power plants.
The issue relating to nuclear power generation is not simple. There are currently five nuclear reactors operating in Switzerland: Gösgen, Beznau (two reactors), Mühleberg and Leibstadt. The first nuclear power plant, Beznau I, was commissioned in 1969 and the last one in Leibstadt was commissioned in 1984. Three of the five nuclear power reactors are due to be replaced by 2025, but almost half of the population (43%) oppose nuclear power. In such an environment, in order to secure energy supply, Swiss energy policy aims to diversify energy sources and to avoid over-reliance on fossil fuels or energy imports from other countries. The goal is to increase power generation to 10 % of the total balance from renewable sources by 2035. However, Switzerland is not an ideal place to develop solar and wind power generation. Electricity consumption in Switzerland is growing every year – from 34.62 billion kWh in 1980 to 57.7 billion kWh in 2021. Electricity consumption per inhabitant in Switzerland is now averaging 10,000 kWh per year.
Under such conditions, the construction of a plant for the production of Neutrino Power Cube generators with a net power of 5-6 kW with the possibility of increasing the net power to 10-12 kW, which plans to start licensed industrial production at the end of 2023 or beginning of 2024, is a relevant and optimal solution to the problem of power supply in households. The Neutrino Power Cube BTG with a net capacity of 5-6 kW will be produced in the form of an electrical panel (cubicle), which will be conditionally divided into 2 units: the generating unit, where the electric generating modules are placed, and the control system unit. The generating compartment has dimensions of 800x400x600 mm and weighs approximately 50 kg. 2 generating units can be installed to increase the generating capacity to 10-12 kW.
The control system unit will house inverters for converting the generated DC power to AC power at 220 V and 380 V, and there is also a DC connector for direct connection of computers and various appliances and gadgets. The functional, operational and pricing characteristics of Neutrino Power Cubes BTGs have definite advantages over solar panel operation and comply with all environmental regulations. The current predicted price for a Neutrino Power Cube BTG with a net capacity of 5-6 kW is 11,000 euros, which is a reasonable price considering the cost of electricity in Switzerland. Calculations show that the Neutrino Power Cube is sufficient for a family of 4 people. If a household also has an electric vehicle, they should invest in a Neutrino Power Cube with a net output of 10-12 kW or more to handle their heating and cooling needs. This groundbreaking solution based on Neutrino Energy Group’s Neutrinovoltaic technology, which has a wide range of applications in everyday life, could be a solution to the crisis in Europe, both in the short and long term, as it is a real alternative to using fossil fuels without compromising the environmental health of the planet.