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Vollständiges Kapitel

Überblick

Es ist absehbar, dass die Dekarbonisierung des Energiesystems auch mit konsequenten Effizienz- und Suffizienzmassnahmen zu einem Anstieg des Strombedarfs führen wird, beispielsweise durch den Umstieg auf Elektromobilität oder den Einsatz von Wärmepumpen zum Heizen von Gebäuden. Gerade da fast jedes andere Land in den kommenden Jahren mit einer ähnlichen Situation konfrontiert sein wird, soll es unser Ziel sein, den zusätzlichen Strombedarf vollständig mit inländischen erneuerbaren Energien (EE) zu decken.

Unter der Annahme eines Rückgangs der Kilometerleistung aufgrund von Effizienz- und Suffizienzmassnahmen im Mobilitätssektor und einer erhöhten Sanierungsrate im Gebäudesektor erwarten wir bis 2030 einen zusätzlichen Strombedarf von 32,3 TWh pro Jahr. Dies bedeutet einen Anstieg um fast 50% im Vergleich zur heutigen Stromerzeugung. Ein weiterer Ausbau der erneuerbaren Energien nach 2030 wird für den Ausstieg aus der Kernenergie notwendig sein.

Symbolbild: Ein Blick aus dem Weltall auf die Beleuchtungen in Städten.

Wenn das volle Entwicklungspotenzial für Wasserkraft und Biomasse - ein Drittel des Windkraftpotentials - sowie die Hälfte der Effizienzpotenziale bei der Stromnutzung bis 2030 ausgeschöpft sind, müssen noch 16,4 TWh durch Photovoltaik auf Dachflächen, Fassaden und anderer bestehender Infrastruktur abgedeckt werden.

Werden keine oder unzureichende Massnahmen im Gebäude- und Mobilitätsbereich getroffen, ist der abzudeckende Bedarf entsprechend höher. Aber auch dieser Bedarf kann durch inländische PV-Anlagen gedeckt werden. Die vollständige Dekarbonisierung bleibt also allein eine Frage des Willens und nicht der technologischen Realisierbarkeit. 

Dies gilt sowohl für die kurzfristige als auch langfristige Energiespeicherung. Die erforderlichen Technologien (verschiedene Arten von Batterien, Pump- und elektrothermische Speicherung, Druckluftspeicherung oder Power-to-Gas) sind bereits gut bekannt und in grosser Menge anwendbar. Ein forcierter Ausbau von PV-Systeme in den Bergregionen sowie von Windkraft würde den saisonalen Speicherbedarf weiter reduzieren.

Mit der Dekarbonisierung unseres Energiesystems machen wir uns zudem unabhängig von Öl- und Gasimporten, für welche die Schweiz in den letzten 40 Jahren 252 Milliarden ausgegeben hat. Diese Wertschöpfung kann in Zukunft im Inland bleiben und - anstatt ins Ausland zu fliessen - so tausende sinnvolle Arbeitsplätze im Bereich der erneuerbaren Energien finanzieren.

Symbolbild: Ein Techniker macht Einstellungen an einer Windturbine im National Wind Technology Center in Boulder, Colorado. Department of Energy / NREL.

Wir schlagen insgesamt acht politische Massnahmen vor, um den Ausbau der erneuerbaren Energien und Speicherkapazitäten zu fördern und das Stromtarifsystem an zukünftige Produktionssysteme anzupassen. Kernstück ist ein kantonales System für den Handel mit Stromzertifikaten. Das System sieht vor, dass die Kantone jährlich ein Kontingent an erneuerbarem Strom liefern, das sich nach der Bevölkerungszahl des Kantons richtet. Ihre überschüssigen Zertifikate können Kantone an jene Kantone verkaufen, die ihr Emissionskontingent übertroffen haben, und umgekehrt. Dieses System kann den Kantonen einen Anreiz bieten, ihre erneuerbare Energieerzeugung zu steigern. Gleichzeitig bietet dieser Ansatz Flexibilität, indem er das unterschiedliche Potenzial und die ungleichen Voraussetzungen der Kantone berücksichtigt. Gleichzeitig wird ihre Autonomie gefördert, in dem ihnen die Entscheidung über die Art und Weise, wie sie ihr Kontingent erreichen wollen, selbst überlassen wird. Weiter sind alle Gebäudeeigentümer*innen - ob öffentlich oder privat - verpflichtet, innerhalb von 10 Jahren auf ihren Dächern PV-Anlagen zu installieren, sofern ihre Dächer als geeignet eingestuft werden. Die Grösse der Anlage muss an die Grösse des Daches und nicht an den eigenen Strombedarf angepasst werden. Dies trägt dem Umstand Rechnung, dass das Potenzial für PV-Anlagen auf Schweizer Dächern sehr hoch ist und die Solarkapazität rasch ausgebaut werden muss, um die Zielwerte für 2030 zu erreichen. Die Stromerzeugung wird kostendeckend vergütet, so dass für Hausbesitzer*innen, die zum Bau einer Solar- oder PV-Anlage verpflichtet sind, keine zusätzlichen Kosten anfallen. Finanziert wird diese Massnahme durch eine Erhöhung des bereits bestehenden Konsumentenzuschlags auf erneuerbare Energien. Zusätzliche Finanzierungsmöglichkeiten (z.B. zinslose Darlehen) können durch die Kantone, den Bund oder beauftragte Finanzinstitute wie Kantonalbanken, eine grüne Investmentbank oder einen Klimafonds bereitgestellt werden.

Diese beiden Massnahmen werden durch sechs begleitende Massnahmen unterstützt: Versteigerungen der Stromabnahmeverträge für grosse EE-Anlagen, ein vereinfachtes und verkürztes Bewilligungsverfahren, ein Förderprogramm zur Ausbildung von zusätzlichem Personal, die Abschaffung von sämtlichen Netzgebühren für Speichertechnologien, eine aktive Förderung von Solaranlagen auf freien Flächen und eine neue Struktur der Stromtarife.

Massnahmen

Massnahme 5.1: kantonales Handelssystem für Stromzertifikate

Das Handelssystem verpflichtet die Kantone jährlich eine gewisse Quote an erneuerbarem Strom zu liefern. Die Zertifikate können zwischen den Kantonen eingetauscht werden. Das System setzt Anreize für den Ausbau erneuerbarer Energieerzeugung und bietet gleichzeitig Flexibilität.

Description

In order to scale up renewable electricity generation at the necessary rate, appropriate locations for large-scale installations need to be quickly designated and made available for public and private project developers. Therefore, we propose as flagship policy a cantonal electricity certificate trading scheme. This scheme requires cantons to supply an annual quota of renewable electricity which is allocated based on the cantons’ population size. Cantons that supply surplus renewable electricity are given certificates which they can then trade with cantons that do not manage to match the required renewable electricity generation.

The advantages of this scheme are fourfold: First, the scheme is a simple tool to incentivize all cantons to scale up their renewable electricity generation and to find suitable locations on their territory for additional installations. It also pushes the cantons to adapt cantonal policies and their spatial planning to accommodate such installations as well as improve and accelerate internal (permitting) processes. It may also incentivize cantons to offer additional support to renewable energy project developers, such as feasibility studies, resource information, low-cost financing, etc. Second, it takes into account cantons’ different renewable energy potentials and offers them the flexibility to choose the technologies most suitable to their conditions. For instance, some cantons offer high wind resources whereas others may rather focus on solar PV. Third, it ensures the political support by the numerous mountainous cantons as their potential for renewable electricity generation is generally high and the scheme may thus offer an additional source of income. Fourth, it offers the cantons flexibility in terms of the pathways chosen to achieve their targets. They can take local political feasibility into account when deciding which technologies to deploy and where.

Financing

The policy does not need any financing except to set up the certificate trading system, which corresponds to a small amount and is therefore neglected at this point. In theory, the policy is also neutral to cantonal finances as long as cantons comply with their respective capacity targets. However, in practice, some cantons that do not meet their targets will have to buy certificates from overachieving cantons and thus strain their cantonal finances. To alleviate such cantons, the cantonal electricity certificate trading system could partially replace the existing cantonal fiscal transfer payments. Cantons with net benefits from these transfer payments are often the more peripheral and mountainous cantons with small population sizes. They also mostly offer high renewable energy potential thanks to their high land availability, high wind and hydro power resources as well as solar PV resources in the wintertime. These cantons will thus most likely be overachieving in terms of their renewable energy targets and thus additionally benefit from the certificate trading scheme. 

Impact 

The impact of the policy on renewable energy deployment is considered high as it aligns cantonal interests with the national targets. As a reaction to the proposed policy, cantons will create a favorable policy environment for public and private actors to invest in renewable energy installations and thus make sure that the national renewable energy targets are implemented on the ground.

Social Compatibility

Social compatibility is high as the cantons are given the flexibility to choose how to achieve their targets and thus take actions that are compatible with local political feasibility.

Questions and Uncertainties

Questions and uncertainties remain regarding the specific design of the policy: 

  • How are the specific cantonal targets set? We propose to allocate them based on cantons’ population size. However, other criteria or a mix thereof are also conceivable, such as economic activity, current electricity consumption, tax revenues, etc. Yet, we deem it important to keep the scheme simple and to base the criteria on easily measurable parameters which cannot be hampered by cantonal policies.
  • What happens to cantons with small surface area, such as Basel-Stadt, Geneva or Zug? Are they treated equally, or do they receive an upfront bonus? We suggest that they are treated equally as they represent financially strong cantons. They may have to primarily rely on their rooftop solar PV potential or may offer additional electricity services such as large-scale storage if these are included in the scheme (see next bullet point).
  • For what product are the certificates traded, e.g. renewable electricity, renewable energy capacity? Does the product’s value change according to the time of delivery, e.g. is electricity delivered at peak time of higher value? Is large-scale electricity storage included in the policy?

Massnahme 5.2: Solarpflicht für geeignete Dächer

Gebäudeeigentümer*innen sind verpflichtet, eine PV-Solaranlage zu bauen, wenn ihre Dächer als geeignet erachtet werden. Die Stromerzeugung wird kostendeckend vergütet, so dass für Hauseigentümer*innen keine zusätzlichen Kosten entstehen.

Description

Building owners - whether public or private - are obligated to build solar PV installations on their roofs within 10 years if their roofs offer medium, good or very good suitability according to Sonnendach.ch. The size of the installation needs to be adapted to the size of the roof not to own electricity needs. Installations receive a cost-covering remuneration. Exemptions are made for buildings that serve additional purposes, such as buildings declared historic monuments. 

To incentivize compliance with the requirement, building owners are obligated to pay an annual fee per square meter of roof surface with the abovementioned quality that is not used for solar PV. The fee continuously increases for the first 10 years. The annual fee cannot be shifted to tenants. Periodically, the capacity additions are monitored and, if necessary, the fee is additionally increased.

We propose a linearly increasing fee from 0 CHF/m2 in 2020 to 20 CHF/m2 in 2030 as one square meter can host an 200W of solar PV with an annual electricity production of approximately 200 kWh. Assuming a remuneration of 10Rp/kWh, this output corresponds to the 20 CHF/m2. 

Financing

The remuneration of the electricity produced by the rooftop solar PV installations is financed by the existing consumer surcharge on the electricity tariff which needs to be raised accordingly. If we assume that existing suitable rooftops may offer a solar PV potential of 24 TWh and that this production is remunerated at 10 Rp/kWh for 15 years, the total remuneration would amount to:

(Note that this amount is not additive to today’s expenses for electricity. It partially replaces electricity generation cost from other sources, such as nuclear power or imports.)

Assuming that all the installations are built in 2020 and an annual electricity consumption of 50 TWh, the surcharge which would need to be paid until 2035 would amount to:

(Note that for simplicity the calculated values are nominal and not discounted.)

As not all building owners may have the capital necessary to invest in a solar PV installation, additional financing options may be provided by the cantons or the federal government or mandated finance institutes, such as cantonal banks, a green investment bank, or a climate fund. One option would be interest-free loans provided by the banks backed by the federal authorities with credit guarantees equivalent to what is being done in the current Corona pandemic. The same could also be done via interest-free increases of mortgages for climate-friendly renovations. Changes in the regulation of mortgages may also help. However, in these cases, the cost-covering remuneration needs to be adjusted.

Impact

The impact of this policy on solar PV deployment is expected to be very high as suitable roofs will be effectively used. Increasing the non-compliance fee over time ensures rapid increases in solar PV capacity which is necessary to achieve the targets for 2030.

Social Compatibility

The policy requires building owners to make investments that they are not necessarily able or willing to do. However, financial support can alleviate some of the constraints imposed on building owners (see above). We also would like to point out that a majority of building owners belong to the financially prosperous sections of the population and the design of the policy ensures that the building owners do not lose money. Additionally, a solar PV installation constitutes a very small share of the total cost of a building but adds to its overall value.

At this point, we would like to refer to a similar policy in Switzerland adopted in 1963: The regulation regarding air-raid shelters implemented in the Law on Civil Protection (BABS / FOCP) . This law required every building in Switzerland to either dispose of an air-raid shelter or to pay for one in a different building. Such requirements are thus not unknown in this country. Interestingly, even the construction costs for air-raid shelters have the same order of magnitude than the ones for a solar PV installation (roughly CHF 20’000).

Questions and Uncertainties

The proposed policy raises many questions and uncertainties some of which are the following:

  • Non-compliance fee: Is the fee high enough to incentivize building owners to invest in a solar PV installation? Could the fee be replaced with other incentives for building owners to comply with the requirements?
  • Permits: As of now, building owners have to acquire permits to build solar PV installations on their roofs. Should these permits be abolished, or can they be simplified (see Policy 4)?
  • Unsuited roofs: What about building owners with unsuited roofs according to Sonnendach.ch? Should they also be incentivized to build solar PV installations? Should they be required to pay the fee?

 

 

Massnahme 5.3: Versteigerung von PPAs für grosse EE-Anlagen

Stromabnahmeverträge für grosse erneuerbare Energieanlagen werden versteigert. Es wird eine gleichbleibende Mindestvergütung für den erzeugten Strom angeboten. Die Investitionsrisiken werden so erheblich reduziert. Dies zieht neue Investitionen in den heimischen Markt für erneuerbare Energien.

Description

In order to increase their renewable electricity generation and comply with their mandated quota (see Policy 5.1), cantons will have to make suitable areas available for large-scale RE installations. In case the cantons cannot or do not want to find a project developer or Policy 1 is not implemented, competitive auctions for power purchase agreements (PPAs) should be organized by a central public entity, for instance Pronovo. PPAs represent contracts between an electricity generator and an electricity buyer and define the conditions at which electricity is sold, e.g. the duration of the contract, the price paid as well as the specific product delivered. Experiences from other countries show that competitive auctions for PPAs have been implemented with great success. Portugal, for instance, achieved record-low solar PV auction results in July 2019 with remuneration levels as low as 1.48 EURct./kWh for a duration of 15 years (Rojo Martin 2019). In Germany, various solar PV auctions in 2019 resulted in remuneration levels between 4.80 and 6.59 EURct./kWh for a duration of 20 years and capacity additions of almost 1.5 GW (Bundesnetzagentur 2019). 

With the framework conditions for large-scale renewable energy installations are different in Switzerland compared to these countries, particularly in terms of the maturity of the sector, the current political landscape and labor cost, we do not expect similar outcomes immediately. However, we suggest following other European countries’ example regarding the design of the auctions: They should be technology-specific, held at regular and frequent intervals, follow a pay-as-bid pricing mechanism, define stringent requirements regarding the viability of the bids, offer long-term contracts of minimum 15 years, and either directly remunerate the produced electricity or pay a premium on top of the market price. If the auctions are designed similarly to our neighboring countries’ auctions, we expect more actors to enter the Swiss renewable energy market, including international project developers but also pension funds, which would add momentum to the pace at which new installations are built, increase the quality of the projects, lower the cost and bring us closer towards the 2030 targets.

In case a suitable location is already available for a large-scale renewable energy installation, a location-specific and technology-specific auction can be held. Such auctions are particularly important for installations on parking lots, highway taluses, etc. In the case of location-specific auctions, the respective cantons will provide necessary information, such as wind speed measurements, solar irradiation levels, soil conditions, etc. and all the necessary permits in order to offer a level playing field to all interested actors and speed up the processes.

Financing

The remuneration of the electricity produced by the rooftop solar PV installations is financed by the existing consumer surcharge on the electricity tariff which needs to be raised accordingly to ensure the timely construction of new large-scale renewable energy installations. Assuming that, by 2030, all of the wind electricity (1.5 TWh/a) and 10% of solar PV electricity (2.4 TWh/a) are acquired through competitive auctions with contracts of 15 years and a fixed remuneration of 20 Rp./kWh and 8 Rp./kWh for wind and solar PV, respectively, the total remuneration would amount to:

(Note that this amount is not additive to today’s expenses for electricity. It partially replaces electricity generation cost from other sources, such as nuclear power or imports. Neither is this amount additive to the amount calculated for Policy 2 as there are overlaps in the solar PV installations included in the calculations.)

Assuming that all the installations are built in 2020 and an annual electricity consumption of 50 TWh, the surcharge which would need to be paid until 2035 would amount to:

(Note that for simplicity the calculated values are nominal and not discounted.)

Impact

The impact of the proposed policy on renewable energy deployment is considered high. As mentioned above, experiences from other countries show how successful competitive auctions can be in terms of acquiring new renewable energy capacity as well as achieving low prices. If appropriately designed, similar results are conceivable for Switzerland.

We also expect the impact of competitive auctions for PPAs to be higher than the impact of auctions for one-off investment grants - the latter being proposed by the Federal Council in the draft for the revised Law on Energy (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft 2020a). The reasons for this expectation are twofold. First, literature shows that financial investors are sensitive to electricity price risks and consequently increase the risk margin on their investments or are reluctant to invest at all (Salm and Wüstenhagen 2018). As opposed to one-off investment grants, PPAs tackle this problem by offering secure revenues for the produced electricity. Second, so far, no other jurisdiction has implemented auctions for one-off investment grants for renewable energy installations. The adoption of such a new support mechanism would thus require interested actors to first become familiar with the scheme and, at best, slow down the scale-up of renewable energy capacity. However, it could also alienate potential project developers and investors and thus hamper the achievement of the targets.

Social Compatibility

The social compatibility of the policy is high as it reduces costs and ensures the quality of the projects if the auctions are appropriately designed.

Questions and Uncertainties

Questions may arise regarding the appropriate design of the auctions. However, auctions have been popular and thus well tested in many countries. Swiss policymakers may thus profit from these experiences when designing the auctions.

Massnahme 5.4: Vereinfachtes Genehmigungsverfahren

Die Genehmigungsverfahren für Anlagen zur Erzeugung erneuerbarer Energien müssen verkürzt und vereinfacht werden. Wartezeiten und Risiken werden so reduziert. 

Description

Permitting is considerably simplified for all renewable energy technologies. Public authorities set up one-stop shops for permitting and limit the process to a few days or weeks. The permitting processes are limited to one governance level, i.e. communes are responsible for the permitting of small-scale installations while large-scale installations are processed at the cantonal level. The possibility to file for an appeal is removed from individuals and limited to associations. The deadline for appeals is considerably shortened. Especially for large-scale installations, lawsuits are only handled by higher-level courts to limit the delays arising from passing through all juridical levels.

For small-scale rooftop solar PV installations, we propose entirely removing the need for permits except in case of buildings that serve superordinate purposes, such as buildings under a preservation order.

Financing

The proposed policy does not need considerable financing except to align permitting processes in the cantons.

Impact 

The impact of the policy on renewable energy deployment is considered high. The proposed policy primarily impacts the speed at which new installations are added as it considerably simplifies and accelerates project planning and execution. It also reduces transaction costs. 

Social Compatibility

The proposed policy is socially compatible.

Questions and Uncertainties

Questions and uncertainties arise regarding the definition of small-scale and large-scale installations as well as the specific authority responsible for the entire permitting process. Also, it remains unclear what kind of buildings would need a permit for a small-scale rooftop solar PV installation.

Massnahme 5.5: Unterstützungsprogramm zur Schulung von RE-Personal

Um den Kapazitätsausbau der erneuerbaren Energien in der erforderlichen Geschwindigkeit voranzutreiben, wird zusätzliches Personal benötigt (ca. 2500 Arbeitsplätze in der Planung und ca. 17000 Arbeitsplätze für die Montage). Gleichzeitig kompensiert diese Massnahme den Verlust von Arbeitsplätzen in CO2-intensiven Branchen. Falls nötig könnte kurzfristig das Militär für die weniger qualifizierten Arbeiten, wie der Montage, eingesetzt werden.

Description

The rapid scale-up of renewable energy capacity will require additional personnel for the planning and mounting of these installations. More specifically, for the peak year 2031, we expect an additional need for 2,500 planners and 17,000 installers (see subsection Personnel Requirements). In order to meet this demand, the federal and cantonal governments will institute and support programs at Universities of Applied Sciences and professional schools (dt. höhere Fachschulen) to train the necessary number of RE personnel, specifically the planners. For the lower skilled job of mounting the installations, the federal and cantonal authorities ensure training programs (e.g. in combination with a public job-program, see Policy 9.1) and provide the necessary boundary conditions to additionally deploy military personnel.

Financing

The amount of financing necessary to implement this policy is unclear. 

Impact

The impact of this policy on solar PV deployment is considered very high as the rapid scale-up of renewable energy capacity is largely dependent on the domestic renewable energy sector and its capacity to handle the demand. This policy would support the sector in increasing the availability of educated personnel.

Social Compatibility

Social compatibility of this policy is considered high. The policy combats unemployment in an efficient and meaningful way and provides opportunities for workers in emission-intensive industries whose jobs have been cut in the course of the ecological transition.

Questions and Uncertainties

Questions and uncertainties remain regarding how timely high-quality education programs for renewable energy planners can be ramped up and suitable candidates found.

Massnahme 5.6: Abschaffung sämtlicher Netzgebühren für Speichertechnologien

Die für die meisten Speichertechnologien noch bestehenden Netzgebühren werden aufgehoben. Die Verantwortung für die Netzstabilität und damit für Investitionen in genügend Speicherkapazität liegt bei den Netzbetreiber*innen. Die Betreiber*innen können die anfallenden Kosten an die Endverbraucher*innen weitergeben.

Description

With increasingly intermittent electricity generation, storage and grid stability become important. To support the deployment of various storage technologies, all storage technologies are exempted from paying grid charges. The responsibility to invest in necessary storage and thus ensure grid stability lies with the grid operators. They are free in choosing in which storage technology to invest. Grid operators can transmit the incurred cost for storage and the grid to the electricity consumers.

When assessing measures in the electricity grid, variants for grid expansion, grid reinforcement and grid optimization are compared and the variant that is most economical over the entire planning horizon is implemented. As a rule, the grid should only be expanded if a secure, effective and efficient grid during the entire planning horizon cannot be guaranteed by optimization or reinforcement. Grid optimization can include the control of flexibilities, for example demand-side management, power control of PV systems or the grid-friendly use of storage systems.

Financing

The cost incurred for storage and grid stability are transmitted to the electricity consumers as is already done today.

Impact

The impact of this policy on storage deployment and grid stability is considered high as the grid operators can invest in necessary infrastructure timely and in an unbureaucratic manner. 

Social Compatibility

Social compatibility is considered high.

Questions and Uncertainties

One question arises regarding small-scale storage: Should small-scale storage, such as small batteries to increase household self-consumption, receive support as well?

Also, the grid operators need to be overlooked by a central authority to avoid incentivizing the construction of unnecessary infrastructure.

Massnahme 5.7: Unterstützung für Solar- & Pv-Anlagen auf Freiflächen

Die Kantone prüfen, wo Solar- & Pv-Anlagen auf Freiflächen sinnvoll sein können und passen das Raumplanungsgesetz entsprechend an.

Description

Open-space solar PV installations are not specifically prohibited in the Spatial Planning Act (dt. Raumplanungsgesetz). However, neither are they specifically encouraged or have a chance of obtaining the necessary permits, see e.g. (Bundesversammlung 2012). We propose that the federal authorities should examine where open-space solar PV could make sense, e.g. above vegetable crops that need shading, and adapt the Spatial Planning Act accordingly in order for cantons, communes as well as private landowners to open up their land for solar PV deployment.

Financing

The proposed policy does not need considerable financing.

Impact

The impact of the policy on solar PV deployment is considered moderate. It would take several years for open-space solar PV to be allowed. However, once the regulation is adapted, scale-up of solar PV deployment could happen very fast.

We do not expect the permission of open-space solar PV to have an impact on solar PV deployment on existing buildings as feared by the Federal Office of Energy.

Social Compatibility

The social compatibility of this policy remains unclear. Careful consideration of social acceptance towards open-space solar PV is necessary. However, positive side-effects of open-space solar PV, such as increased biodiversity (Busch et al. 2019), may increase the social acceptance not only for open-space solar PV but also for other climate-friendly measures, such as the reforestation of unused areas.

Questions and Uncertainties

Questions and uncertainties remain regarding the type of land that could and would be opened for open-space solar PV and thus the potential that could be tapped into. Also, it remains unclear how quickly such regulation could be adapted.

Massnahme 5.8 : Zusammensetzung der Stromtarife

Das derzeitige Stromtarifsystem mit hohen und niedrigen Sätzen wird zugunsten eines flexibleren marktorientierten Tarifsystems aufgegeben. Das künftige System wird mehr an eine von Unterbrechungen geprägte, erneuerbare Energieerzeugung angepasst. Wir stellen uns ein Tarifsystem mit stündlichen Stromtarifen und Kapazität oder Netz bezogenen Netzgebühren vor, um einen Anreiz für den Verbrauch von lokal erzeugtem Strom zu Spitzenproduktionszeiten zu schaffen.

Description

Current electricity tariffs include the price for the consumed electricity besides grid charges, taxes and the consumer surcharge for renewable energy deployment. We propose to structure the tariffs in a more market-based manner to reflect future production regimes with higher shares of intermittent renewable energy generation. If structured appropriately, the electricity tariffs may increase energy efficiency and reduce the need for additional intraday storage capacity. On the one hand, the current scheme with high and low electricity prices should be abandoned and replaced with a more flexible scheme. Here, we envision electricity prices that are adapted at least hourly to the current market price. This rewards electricity consumption at peak electricity generation. On the other hand, the grid charges should be imposed depending on the used network level, on the used capacity or combinations thereof. Hence, the consumption of locally produced electricity is incentivized which reduces the need for investments in the transmission grid. 

As an alternative to the above proposed tariff structure, we could also envision flat-rate electricity tariffs similar to existing mobile phone tariff structures where a specified amount of energy and grid usage is included in a monthly tariff and the consumer pays extra for additional electricity consumption. The monthly tariff may also be adapted to reflect intraday electricity price fluctuations by including more energy usage at peak production hours. Such a tariff structure may improve energy efficiency.

Generally, we deem it important to abandon the current structure of the electricity tariffs as it does not correspond to expected future electricity generation regimes.

Financing

The proposed policy requires the replacement of current electricity meters with meters that monitor the time of use. However, such a replacement is currently ongoing and would thus not incur higher cost. Importantly, electricity consumers should be allowed to choose where to buy their electricity meter from.

Impact 

The proposed policy incentivizes electricity consumers to align their consumption with electricity production and could thus add to grid stability. Additionally, it would incentivize installations that generate off-peak electricity, such as solar PV installations on façades, as well as intraday storage, such as batteries. It may also incentivize operators of pumped-storage hydropower plants to align their operations with actual consumption behavior and thus add to grid stability. 

Social Compatibility

The proposed policy requires the replacement of current electricity meters for all households as well as behavioral changes as the current pricing scheme will be abandoned. This may court the resentment of some parts of society.

Questions and Uncertainties

Questions and uncertainties remain:

  • Communication of electricity prices: How are the current prices communicated to electricity consumers? Do they know about future prices?
  • Self-consumption: How is self-consumption remunerated? Do the grid charges also apply to buildings that generate their own electricity?