By Chris King • 02 December 2022 • 19:26
Image of electric car being charged.
The Swiss government announced today, Friday, November 2, that it will ban electric cars from the country’s roads if the energy crisis worsens. In the event of Switzerland running out of energy this Winter, then ‘non-essential’ journeys using electric vehicles will be prohibited.
Because the country is dependent on imports, the government fears there could well be a shortage of energy in the coming months. Around 60 per cent of Swiss energy is generated via hydroelectric power stations.
Another 30 per cent comes from nuclear facilities but the government is already committed to phasing this out as an energy source. Wind farms and traditional fossil fuels provide the remainder of Switzerland’s energy.
Although, as statistics show, enough energy is produced annually to keep the lights on, the fluctuation of the country’s seasons leads to an unpredictable situation.
Water provided by rain and melting snow keeps the rivers topped up during the warmer months, which is needed in order to generate hydroelectric power. The river levels drop in the colder months though which means that imports have to be relied on.
An exceptionally dry summer in Europe has caused the levels in lakes and rivers to drop, resulting in less energy being generated by the hydro plants as a result.
During the warmer times, a large amount of energy is exported to neighbouring countries including Germany and France. As a result of the Ukrainian conflict, European nations have suffered the loss of Russian gas supplies. Switzerland is not reliant on supplies from Russia though. The result has been that these countries make a bigger demand for Swiss exports.
In the event of blackouts affecting the country, a plan has been drawn up by the Swizz government to combat such a scenario. These will include the opening hours of shops being cut by two hours each day. Nightclubs will be instructed to turn off their heating systems. Temperatures in other buildings will be limited to a maximum of 20C.
Further measures could include sporting facilities and stadiums being forced to shut, Christmas lights being turned off, and streaming services and gaming consoles being banned, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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