Natural resources and energy
Switzerland is scarce for natural resources
and imports most of the raw materials into industry.
Hydropower, which is also the only domestic energy
source, is regarded as the most important own asset.
Hydroelectric power covered almost the entire
electricity demand until 1969, when the first nuclear
power plant was put into operation. Nuclear power has
been disputed and several referendums have been held to
determine its future. A ten-year extension stop was
approved in 1990, but a proposal to extend the stop was
voted down in 2003. At the same time, a proposal to
decommission nuclear power was also rejected, and the
government decided in 2007 that the existing reactors
should be replaced with new ones.
Major exports by Switzerland with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
But the nuclear accident in Japan in 2011, caused by
an earthquake and subsequent tsunami, again triggered
widespread nuclear protests in Switzerland. Tens of
thousands of people demonstrated and now the government
made a new decision: nuclear power will be
decommissioned as the existing reactors have done their
job, until about 2035.
There were then four nuclear power plants with five
reactors, which accounted for about 40 percent of
electricity production. Hydropower accounted for most of
How energy supply is then to be secured is unclear,
but there are proposals for tax incentives for the
development of renewable energy. Nuclear power's share
of total energy supply is currently estimated at 25
percent, while imported oil accounts for about half.
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FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
2,960 kilograms of oil equivalent (2015)
Electricity consumption per person
7520 kWh, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
35 306 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
4.3 tons (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
25.3 percent (2015)