Switzerland

Wind Energy in Switzerland


switzerland.jpgBy the end of 2017, Switzerland had 37 large wind turbines in operation with a total rated power of 75 MW. These turbines produced 132 GWh of electricity. No new turbines were installed in 2017, but the 15 MW of additional capacity installed during 2016 caused a 20% increase is wind-generated  electricity.

Switzerland has been utilizing a cost-covering feed-in-tariff (FIT) for renewable energy since 2009. This policy promoted wind energy and led to a boost of new wind energy projects.

Financing is currently requested for an additional 3.402 TWh under the FIT scheme. 2017 was marked by the Swiss people’s approval of the Energy Strategy 2050 in May, with an approval rate close to 60%. This opened the door for a new legislative package in favor of renewable energies and energy efficiency at the beginning of 2018.

Research activities are internationally cross-linked, mainly in the fields of cold climates, turbulent and remote sites, and social acceptance.

To learn more about wind energy in Switzerland, please review their chapter in the IEA Wind TCP 2017 Annual Report.

National Targets


Within the new Energy Strategy, an additional 22.6 TWh/yr is expected to come from renewable energy. Wind energy should contribute 4.3 TWh/yr to this target (with intermediate goals of 0.7 TWh in 2020 and 1.8 TWh in 2035).

Concurrently, the Swiss Federal Council adopted the Wind Energy Conception in 2017. This document sets how the interests of the State should be taken into consideration in the wind project planning process and indicates the areas particularly suitable for harnessing wind energy. It sets an unbinding wind energy target for each canton with wind power generation potential, which the cantonal department of energy should take into consideration in its cantonal energy plan.

Operational Details


Approximately 59% of Switzerland’s overall electricity production comes from renewable sources, with hydropower as the biggest contributor by far (95%). Wind power generation currently covers 0.2% of the Swiss electricity consumption.

In 2017, no new turbines were installed. However, the 15 MW of additional capacity from 2016 (due to three new turbine and four repowerings) caused an increase in wind-generated electricity of 20% compared to 2016–132 GWh of wind-generated electricity. Future projects that are already advanced in the planning procedures represent an additional 170 MW.

National R,D&D Priorities and Budget


2017 marked the beginning of a new energy research term (2017-2022), with the following new priorities:

  • Performance optimization per turbine and farm: turbine optimization, control optimization, wind farm design
  • Reduction of turbine downtimes: technical optimizations, icing protection, wind forecast, avifauna
  • Acceptance: accelerating procedures and research between wind power and other fields, such as ornithology or noise research, including stronger cooperation between federal offices and institutes
In 2017, the budget for wind energy related R&D and demonstration projects was approximately 619,730 EUR (763,313 USD). The national Swiss Energy program allocated approximately 1.1 million CHF (1.0 million EUR; 1.1 million USD) to the wind energy sector for information activities, quality assurance measures, and for the support of regional and communal planning authorities.