The Federal Government has developed a comprehensive strategy for grid development as part of the Energy Strategy 2050. The Electricity Grid Strategy optimises the urgently needed renovation of the grid in order to maintain security of supply in the long term.
Swissgrid supports the approaches of the Electricity Grid Strategy, which seeks to optimise the permitting procedure, clarify roles and responsibilities, and thus lead to more legal certainty. From the point of view of the national grid company, important topics are addressed. These notably are the national importance of the grid, planning security, the eligibility of costs as well as transparent communication and the timely involvement of stakeholders including affected authorities, associations and NGOs. Swissgrid welcomes the clarification of roles and responsibilities in the grid development process. A scenario framework will in future form the binding basis for grid planning in Switzerland. Another positive aspect is the time limit of two years each for the drawing up of the sectoral planning and the planning approval procedure. The sectoral plan will be further enhanced, in particular by including the decision on the technology (overhead lines or cabling). This will result in greater investment and planning security.
Key issues for Swissgrid:
- National interest: With the explicit designation as «of national interest» the transmission grid is granted the same basic standing as a landscape that is part of a Federal Inventory and is thus under protection. This allows for a balanced evaluation of project benefits in relation to landscape protection in each individual case.
- Review of multi-year plans by ElCom: The review of the multi-year plans and of the necessity of the therein contained projects strengthens planning and investment security.
- Public relations: Swissgrid must be included in the development of service agreements between the Federal Government and cantons for public relations. Coordinated, joint communication helps to improve acceptance for transmission grid projects.
- Easements: Provided a line is not structurally changed, the acquisition of required easements should follow the procedure pursuant to the law on expropriation and not the planning approval procedure. This safeguards the property guarantee of existing assets.
- International collaboration: Swissgrid's international collaboration must continue in all areas (market, grid, operations) since it is vital for security of supply.