On behalf of the Federal Government, Swissgrid processes the cost-covering remuneration for feed-in to the electricity grid (CRF) and the one-off remuneration (OR). This supports producers whose installations generate electricity from renewable sources. In addition, Swissgrid manages the central database for Swiss guarantees of origin and has been the accredited certification authority for this since 2007. With the aid of guarantees of origin, the electricity mix supplied can be guaranteed to the end consumer and in doing so transparency for the consumer can be increased.
New installations are required
In addition to hydropower (up to a power output of 10 megawatts), the plants funded by the CRF include biomass, geothermal energy, wind and solar energy. Solar energy can also be funded by the OR. To date a total of approx. 50,000 applications for CRF or OR have been received by Swissgrid. Since 2011, around 900 new applications have been received by Swissgrid each month on average. Of these, so far around 14,000 applications have been approved, a further 34,000 applications are still on the waiting list (as of 1 October 2014). Almost 9,000 of the approved plants have gone into operation so far.
Guarantees of origin and electricity labelling
Consumers are to be provided with greater transparency in terms of their electricity mix. Since 2013, the guarantee of the origin and quality of the electricity has had to be provided for all electricity produced in Switzerland by power plants with an output of 30 kVA or more. This also applies to conventional and nuclear power plants. The certificates issued by Swissgrid guarantee the origin of electricity generated, so they indicate which power plant and which energy source it comes from. Electricity labelling must make use of all available evidence. This means that the electricity mix supplied must be specified to the end consumer on each bill. In future, this will have to be ensured on the basis of guarantees of origin. This increases transparency for the consumer.
Sustainable energy with electricity
A large proportion of the energy used globally comes from fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal. There are two downsides to this: these energy sources are finite and their use releases emissions which harm the environment.
For this reason, Swissgrid is doing its bit to help achieve Swiss and European climate targets - with renewable sources such as power plants which produce electricity from wind, sun, geothermal energy and water. Switzerland in particular is considered the hydroelectricity centre of Europe thanks to the very high proportion of electricity it generates from renewable sources. Increasing the integration of electricity from renewable sources certainly presents new challenges to the entire European transmission grid and the energy industry.