New calculation shows
Potential for wind energy much greater than assumed
In Switzerland, 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity could be produced from wind energy per year, 19 TWh of this in the winter months alone. The last calculation in 2012 assumed a potential of 3.7 TWh per year.
According to a study by the Federal Office of Energy, 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity could be produced from wind energy per year. For comparison: The Gösgen nuclear power plant has an annual production of around 8 TWh. (icon picture)
According to a new study, the majority of the wind energy potential is in the Mittelland with 17.5 TWh, as the Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) announced on Tuesday. More than 7.8 TWh per year could be produced in the Jura arc and in the large Alpine valleys, and more than 4.2 TWh per year in the Alpine region.
According to the SFOE, even a partial expansion of 30 percent of the entire wind energy potential – which corresponds to around 1000 turbines – could make a significant contribution to a more secure electricity supply in Switzerland and to reducing dependence on foreign countries. This partial expansion would enable wind power production of 8.9 TWh per year, of which 5.7 TWh in winter. For comparison: The Gösgen nuclear power plant has an annual production of around 8 TWh.
According to the SFOE, the large increase in wind energy potential compared to the last calculation in 2012 – at that time a potential of 3.7 TWh per year was assumed – is due to the enormous technical progress in wind turbines. Today’s wind turbines are taller, have significantly larger rotors and thus produce more than the older turbines.
On the other hand, the political framework conditions have changed compared to 2012, as the SFOE continues. With the recognition of national interest for wind farms with a production of more than 20 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year, the wind energy potential in the forest (14.8 TWh/year) and in the areas of the Federal Inventory of Landscapes and Monuments (BLN) (3 .0 TWh/year) can be used.