Switzerland contemplating major shift to PV

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Swiss multi-lingual news website swissinfo.ch is reporting that researchers and the Swiss solar industry are pushing towards a major shift to rooftop photovoltaics, as the country creates a new energy strategy. In 2011, the Swiss parliament made the decision not to build new nuclear reactors and to phase out those already in use.

swissinfo.ch has quoted sources from Zurich University and the Swiss Solar Energy Association who have suggested that 20 percent of Switzerland’s power could be provided by distributed roof-top photovoltaics by 2025, which would replace half of the nuclear capacity. Thomas Zwald, from the Swiss Association of Electricity Companies, has also been quoted as saying that electricity prices in the country would increase by ten percent if that were the case.

Advantages presented by photovoltaics of distributed generation, lower public opposition – with rooftop applications – and also the speed at which photovoltaics can be deployed have all been set out as advantages by proponents in Switzerland.

The Association of Electricity Companies Zwald added that the decision is yet to be made on whether to pursue a change of energy sources through subsidies or through electricity price increases. "The economy is well aware that these investments must be made and that decentralized production has gained in importance. It’s all a question of pace and how capital is applied," said Zwald.