Switzerland

Index rank 01

Balance Score

AAA

Energy Sustainability Index Rankings and Balance Score

 2011  2012  2013  Trend Score
Energy Performance  1  2  1   
Energy Security  26  26  19  A
Energy Equity  4  4  6  A
Environmental Sustainability  1  1  1  A
         
Contextual Performance  2  2  3   
Political Strength  5  6  7   
Societal Strength  8  2  6   
Economic Strength  6  8  6   
         
Overall Rank  1  1  1  AAA
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Fossil Fuel Reserves

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Key Metrics

Industrial sector (% of GDP) 27.7
TPEP / TPEC  (net energy importer) 0.50
Emission intensity (kg CO2 per USD) 0.12
Energy affordability (USD per kWh) 0.20
GDP / capita (PPP, USD); GDP Group 44,452 (I)
Energy intensity (million BTU per USD) 0.08
CO2 emissions (metric tons CO2 per capita) 4.66
Population Access to Electricity (%) 100.0
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Index Commentary

Switzerland maintains the top spot in the Index for yet another year and exhibits strong, balanced performances on all three dimensions. Energy security is Switzerland’s least-strong dimension because the country imports around half of the energy it uses. Energy equity is high and Switzerland continues to be the best in the world at limiting its impact on the environment with low levels of pollution and ultra-low emission energy infrastructure that uses fossil-fuelled power plants for only 2% of electricity generation. Contextual performance remains among the best in the world, but the high cost of living is the country’s weakest contextual indicator.

Trends and Outlook

Switzerland’s leading position in the Index reflects the country’s past energy and energy-related policy decisions. However, the recent developments and expected changes are expected to have a strong impact on the country’s energy sustainability balance.

Most recent energy policy developments include the decision to refrain from building new nuclear power plants which will be included in the new energy strategy that is under development and expected to be implemented fully by 2050. The necessary measures and next steps to phase-out nuclear are not yet known and will be matter of political discussions in the next few months (a public referendum is probable). To achieve the transition to a low-carbon energy system in the long term, in the short term Switzerland is likely to become more dependent on gas-fired electricity generation.

Policymakers need to focus on: 1) construction of new electricity grids; 2) completing the liberalisation of the electricity market; and 3) come to a bilateral agreement with the European Union regarding electricity and renewable energy. Furthermore, there is the need to be ambitious and increase the renovation rate of buildings as part of the transition to a low-carbon energy system.