Switzerland has achieved a remarkable milestone by successfully securing 100% of its electricity from low-carbon sources by 2023. Half of this power supply comes from nuclear energy, with a significant 42% derived from hydropower. Solar power also contributes to this green energy mix, providing over 7% of the country's electricity. Furthermore, Switzerland is contributing to global carbon reduction efforts by exporting a significant amount of its generated electricity, assisting neighboring countries to reduce their own carbon emissions.
To continue to lead in low-carbon electricity generation, Switzerland could consider expanding its already extensive nuclear power facilities. Given that nuclear energy already provides half of the nation's electrical power, it seems a natural step to further invest in these efficient and clean power plants. An expansion of nuclear capacity would also provide the additional electricity required to support the country's intention of electrifying other sectors such as transport, heating, and industry, paving the way for a more sustainable and eco-friendly society.
Looking back at Switzerland's history of low-carbon electricity generation, it is clear that the country has faced challenges and fluctuations over the years but managed to overcome them. In the 1980s, hydro energy generation saw several declines, most notably in 1984 and 1989. However, the country managed to boost its nuclear output in 1985, filling the gap left by hydro. The late 1990s and early 2000s saw another significant drop in hydro output, followed by a recovery toward the end of the decade. Nuclear suffered a significant decline in 2005, sparking criticism, but this was countered by an increase in the subsequent year. Towards the end of the 21st century, nuclear power generation faced further fluctuations, but despite this, Switzerland secured a carbon-free electricity supply by 2023 by utilizing a combination of nuclear, hydro, and solar power.