Energy transition in Switzerland – both Left and right want to promote wood energy however, the Federal blocks of wood is an important renewable energy source. The Federal Council does not want to subsidize only large wood-fired power plants, demand in the timber industry and politicians. Stefan Häne37 Kommentare37Der Federal Council wants to promote wood-fired power plants that produce electricity. Photo: Gaëtan Bally (Keystone)

Erich von Siebenthal criticized the Federal Council. “The government does not want to exploit the energy potential of the wood continues to be,” says SVP-national Council member and President of the Bern forest owners. Wood fulfils all the criteria according to which the Federal Council of wool its energy policy: indigenous, CO2-neutral, renewable. In fact, the Federal Council has outlined in April, as he intends to strengthen the renewable energies in Germany.

the plans he has for the wood: The investment contributions of the Federal government for wood-fired power plants are expected to increase from the current maximum of 20 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum of 60. Today, about 30 of the larger wood-fired power plants are operational in Switzerland. In 2018, it produced electricity for more than 65’000 households. Most of them receive a feed-in tariff (KEV). Investment contributions has spoken of the Federal never. This Instrument, which has replaced the KEV, has only been into effect in 2018.

“the vast majority of The equipment is empty.”

Andreas Keel, managing Director, wood energy Switzerland

For further measures, the Federal Council sees no need. Criticism of the seventh neck. With wood can not only produce electricity but also heat. Country wide, around 560’000 wood energy plants are operating, the large majority of small systems, over the whole of Switzerland are scattered. 5 percent of the total energy used wood is converted to heat-power cogeneration plants to electricity, 95 per cent, calculates that in heating systems to heat, such as the Association of wood energy in Switzerland. “This great majority is so empty,” says managing Director Andreas Keel. The proposal of the Federal Council is extremely electricity-heavy. The industry’s mind all the more because, as the wood is after water the second most important renewable energy carrier of the Switzerland, after all, wood energy covers about 10 percent of the nationwide demand for Heating.

potential for 700’000 dwellings

The industry is not also irritated, because the Federal Council is implementing the will of Parliament. Last year, the National Council and Council of States approved a Motion from the seventh neck. The Federal Council, the claim must exploit “the wood energy potential and thus the energy resource wood”.

In the Swiss forest and in the Swiss countryside, more than 10 million cubic meters of wood grow annually, resulting in 5.1 million cubic metres of energy wood. This is, for example, forest wood, which is managed as a piece of wood into the heaters, or wood residues obtained during the processing of trunk timber. Long-term use of 2.5 million cubic meters of wood more, for a total of 7.5 million would be according to the wood energy Switzerland but an additional amount of around 700’000 homes a year to heat with a lid. The ecologically valuable dead wood, which forms the basis of life for many forest living species, would remain unaffected, so in the forest, assured Keel of wood energy in Switzerland.

“can We harvest the wood is still low-hanging fruit.”

Stefan Müller-Altermatt, Nationalrat CVP

not Per se cause a problem, an increased use of wood but is not. Although the threshold values of deadwood can be achieved in many regions of volume for the conservation of most species. Nevertheless, there are numerous forests in which this is not the case. These mainly lie in the depths, easy-to-reach layers of the Jura and Central plateau; there, the deadwood volume are at their lowest.

management into perspective

The lawsuit from the industry has been heard in the Federal administration. The Swiss Federal office of energy (sfoe) stresses, however, that when it comes to wood promotion in the heating sector “runs very well”. Therefore, in 2018, the building program of the Federal government and the cantons had been around granted 7 million Swiss francs in financial aid to automatic wood furnaces, Pellet furnaces, and a piece of wood heaters.

however, leading the energy Minister Simonetta Sommaruga (SP) is probably on the books need to go. SVP-politician von Siebenthal receives support from the center-left camp. “I think that we could harvest the wood is still low-hanging fruit,” says national councillor Stefan Müller-Altermatt (CVP). Also, Bastien Girod (Green), President of the national Council’s Commission of energy (Urek), shows itself openly to the concerns of wood energy in Switzerland: “I see that there is in the promotion of renewable heat gaps.”

Other parliamentarians warn, however, against the circle of the subsidies should be extended. “Wood is use to, especially from the CO 2 perspective, but not at any price,” says Martin Schmid (FDP), who chairs the stand ätliche Urek. Entirely he did not want to commit yet. Initial consultation, up to 12. July take, will show whether there is still a need for action exists.

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