The Swiss Energy sector faces a major shift. Switzerland will phase out its nuclear energy whilst reducing its carbon footprint.
The Energy Sector In Switzerland
The Swiss Energy sector faces a major shift. Switzerland will phase out its nuclear energy whilst
reducing its carbon footprint. There is a major opportunity for companies that can address this
40% gap its power supply.
Switzerland’s energy is mainly derived from fossil fuels. In 2011 they consumed 852,330 TJ (-
6.5% to 2010) which came from the following sources:
Fuel oils: 18.7%
Motor fuels: 35%
Energy consumption 2011 by user:
Switzerland does not have its own sources for crude oil but has two refineries in operation on its
soil. Importation of crude oil is mainly from Central Asiatic states like Kazakhstan (50.7%),
Azerbaijan (11%) and Algeria (17.9%).
Finished products such as, diesel or heating oil are mainly imported from European countries
such as Germany (50%), Netherlands (13.6%), France (12.2%) and Italy (12%).
In 2011, Switzerland imported crude oil worth £2.14bn and finished products worth £4.2bn.
Switzerland does not have its own production of Gas and therefore imports all supplies. In 2010,
Switzerland imported 31,048 GWh of Gas. The largest part was directly used for heating (90%);
the rest was used to produce power.
In future Switzerland will play a central role in transeuropean gas transports, as a pipeline will be
enhanced to allow trading north-south and south-north.
The power sector is about to be privatised. Previously only large businesses could freely choose
their suppliers. Households and SMEs are bound to their local suppliers.
The main sources for the Swiss power supply are hydro energy (56.5%) and its four nuclear
power plants (38%). Other renewable energy sources than hydropower are still in development
and supply no more than 0.7% to the total power consumption.
Internationally, Switzerland’s large hydro dam networks in the alps act as a large battery, storing
power over time. In addition to that Switzerland is one of the most important electricity traders in
ξ Decommissioning – There are four nuclear power plants to be decommissioned by 2031.
But to run till 2031 they have to be maintained and updated on security measures.
ξ Combined Gas Plant – To bridge the gap after the nuclear phase out Swiss power
companies are planning to build several combined gas plants.
ξ Energy Efficacy – Energy efficacy is seen as one of the major sources to replace the
40% power gap after nuclear phase out.
ξ Renewable Energy – In the coming years there will be large investments in renewable
energy sources. The largest potential is seen in solar, thermal heat and overseas wind
ξ Grid Upgrade – Large parts of Switzerland’s power grid is over 30 years old and has to
be replaced. In addition to that, the grid has to be prepared to handle the input of
renewable energy (smart grid). The investment is expected up to £ 33B until 2030.
ξ Enhancing Gas pipeline – The already existing north-south pipeline through the Swiss
alps will be enhanced to be able trading in both direction – a £20m project.
Latest export opportunities in the Energy sector
Latest exports opportunities in the Power sector
Latest export opportunities in the Renewable Energy sector
Latest export opportunities in Switzerland
Getting into the market
Switzerland is a rich and prosperous country. Often Swiss buyers are ready to pay more for
products and services as their European counterparts. With its large number of international
companies and its long trading tradition Switzerland is a springboard to many other markets all
over the world.
To be successful in Switzerland, UK companies will have to offer more than a good product for a
reasonable price. UK companies will also have to offer good quality and especially a high-level
of service. In addition, trust is a very important part in doing business in Switzerland. Companies
that want to be prosperous in Switzerland must win the trust of their future clients, partners and
suppliers. Consequently, a new company in the market will have to invest time and money to
This is where the Embassy can help. Our extensive network can open doors for you thus
reducing your time to market, lowering the cost and risk of doing business
More about doing business in Switzerland
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits through our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
in country - or contact your local international trade team.
ξ Florian Keller, British Embassy Berne. Tel: +41 (0)31 359 7728 or email:
ξ Alma Krebs, British Embassy Berne. Tel: +41 (0)31 359 7722 or email:
Contact your local international trade team
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events in the Energy sector
Latest events in the Renewable Energy sector
Latest events in the Power sector
19th-21st March 2013
UKTI Energy Efficiency Day Switzerland
Spring 2013 (tbc)
12. Bau- und Energiemesse Schweiz
21st – 24th November 2013
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters