Swissolar, the trade association representing the Swiss solar sector, has unveiled projections indicating a substantial increase in solar capacity installation in Switzerland. Anticipating a surge of almost 40%, the trade body envisions the addition of 1.5GW of new solar capacity in 2023, potentially propelling the nation's total installed capacity to over 6.2GW.
If these forecasts materialize, Switzerland could achieve a significant milestone, accounting for 10% of the country's total electricity consumption by 2024. This aligns with the Swiss government's goal, set in 2011, of meeting 10% of the nation's energy demand with solar power by 2025.
Swissolar expresses optimism in the continuous rapid development of the solar sector, projecting an additional 10% growth in 2024. This trajectory positions Switzerland on a path to add 2GW of new capacity annually from 2027, aligning with governmental aspirations.
The trade association attributes part of the sector's success to the New Energy Act introduced in 2017. The legislation has facilitated reform in the Swiss energy sector, targeting an annual domestic production of 11,400GWh of renewable power, a significant increase from 4,400GWh in 2020. Practical reforms, including the replacement of feed-in remuneration schemes, have made new renewable power projects more financially viable.
Energy trader Axpo's announcement in 2022 to add 1.2GW of new solar capacity by the end of the decade reflects the increased appetite for solar projects in Switzerland. This commitment aligns with a sixfold annual increase in the solar sector's installed capacity since the enactment of the Energy Act.
While Switzerland is not an EU member, this positive development underscores the importance of greater clean energy investment across the broader European renewables market, resonating with recent warnings from the European Commission urging enhanced efforts to meet climate change goals.