Switzerland approves solar obligation for new buildings

October 4 (Renewables Now) – Switzerland has introduced a set of measures that make it compulsory to install solar panels on some new buildings and facilitate the construction of large-scale photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the Alps.

The measures were approved by the Council of States, the upper house of the Swiss parliament, on Friday.

Under the new legislation, new buildings with an area of ​​more than 300 m² must be equipped either with a photovoltaic system on their roofs or facades, or with a solar thermal installation. The individual cantons are entitled to introduce the solar obligation also for buildings with an area of ​​less than 300 m² and to approve derogations from the obligation.

In addition, solar installations must be installed in all appropriate areas of federal public buildings by 2030.

The new regulations also provide for the accelerated implementation of solar projects, particularly in the Alpine region. These apply to PV systems with an annual production of at least 10 GWh and a winter production of at least 500 kWh per 1 kW of installed capacity. Such projects will be considered site-specific outside of the construction zone.

Projects in this category, which will start feeding at least part of their electricity into the electricity grid by the end of 2025, will also receive a state investment grant, covering up to 60% of the cost of the project. ‘investment.

These regulations will be valid until the production of electricity from solar energy throughout Switzerland reaches 2 TWh per year.

The changes were resolved by the Energy Commission of the Federal Council of States this summer.

Local renewable energy company and energy trader Axpo Holding AG has welcomed the Swiss Parliament’s commitment to accelerating renewable energy expansion and cushioning potential short-term bottlenecks, noting that this creates greater legal certainty.

Specifically, the company appreciates the designation of large ground-mounted solar parks with a significant contribution to winter supply as site-specific and of fundamentally higher national interest. However, Axpo calls for improving the ability to allow renewable installations in the medium and long term because these regulations are time-limited.

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Marjorie N. McClure