Switzerland Energy and Environment Facts

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.

  • COUNTRYAAH: 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 the remainder.

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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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)

Switzerland Energy and Environment Facts

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