Switzerland 2023 – Energy Policy Review – IEA

The International Energy Agency regularly conducts in-depth peer reviews of the energy policies of its member countries. This process supports energy policy development and encourages the exchange of international best practices and experiences to help drive secure and affordable clean energy transitions.

Switzerland has enshrined its 2050 net zero target in law, for the first time acknowledging the role of negative emission technologies and carbon capture and storage to address emissions from hard-to-abate sectors. Switzerland today has a low‑emissions electricity system, with significant production from both hydropower and nuclear. The country also shows a notable decoupling of energy consumption and economic growth.

However, current policy measures are not sufficient to reach Switzerland’s mid-term emissions reduction target for 2030. The gradual phase-out of nuclear power and the accelerated electrification of the heating and transport sectors pose challenges. Meanwhile, Switzerland is dependent on electricity imports during the winter months and needs to swiftly expand renewable energy capacity, and in particular technologies that offer more generation during winter A key obstacle to Switzerland’s energy transition is the permitting processes for energy projects, which reflect complex, time-intensive governance and legal structures.

In this report, the IEA provides energy policy recommendations to help Switzerland effectively manage the transformation of its energy sector in line with its climate targets.