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Electricity in Switzerland in 2022

Global Ranking: #9
92.0% #13 Low-carbon electricity
856.22 watts #35 Generation / person
60.79 gCO2eq/kWh #12 Carbon Intensity
Up to 78% Electricity imports

Switzerland stands out for its shift towards low-carbon electricity as it already obtains over 90% of its energy from clean sources. The country's electricity make-up consists mainly of hydropower and nuclear energy, which more than half of it is hydropower (52%) and a bit over a third is nuclear (35%). A smaller portion comes from solar energy (4%). Simultaneously, fossil energy contributes to a measly fraction of just above 3% to the overall electric production. Currently, the challenge facing Switzerland is to increase its electricity production to be able to sustain other sectors such as transport, heating, and industry as they switch to electricity, which will consequently increase electricity demand. As for net imports, these account for nearly 5% of Switzerland's electricity consumption, hitting a peak of 78%.


To increase low-carbon electricity generation, Switzerland could consider expanding its existing nuclear plant capacities. Notably, Nordic countries like Sweden and Finland generate significant amounts of electricity from nuclear power, at 559 and 517 watts per person, respectively. France also has a strong nuclear presence, generating 526 watts per person. Similarly, strongly investing in wind energy can be of great benefit, as seen in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway where wind power generates 369, 363, and 336 watts per person respectively. Therefore, Switzerland could have the opportunity to diversify its electric production by emphasizing the expansion of the nuclear sector and implementing favourable policies to harness wind power.


The past decades in the Swiss low-carbon energy sector have been somewhat fluctuating. In the late 1970s, the country reportedly experienced a rise in nuclear energy, signified by a 3.4 TWh increase in 1979. This upward trend continued into the mid-1980s with yet another hike in nuclear generation by 4.1 TWh in 1985. During the same period, however, hydro energy experienced a dip by 5.3 TWh. The 1990s and early 2000s saw a rollercoaster ride in hydro energy with highs and lows of up to 6.4TWh. In recent years, nuclear energy generation has both declined and bounced back. For instance, in 2015, there was a drop by 4.5 TWh, only for it to surge by 5.1 TWh in 2018 and then drop again by 4.6 TWh in 2021. The following year, 2022, recorded a positive shift with an increase of 4.7 TWh. However, this trend signifies that challenges still lie within the nuclear sector and must be addressed to ensure more consistent and sustainable growth.

Data Sources

For the years 1978 to 1989 the data sources are World Bank and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 2019 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2020 to 2022 the data source is Ember.