Over the last 5 years, Switzerland has consumed an annual average of around 225 terawatt-hours, and is dependent on imports for around 70% of this. The types of energy most used are petroleum products, electricity from hydroelectric and nuclear power plants, and natural gas. Renewable energies have been steadily gaining ground in recent years, especially solar power.
Energy – Facts and Figures
- Energy consumption per capita has been declining in Switzerland for years: although the population grew by 28.7% between 1990 and 2020, energy consumption decreased by 5.9% during the same period.
- Most energy consumed in Switzerland is in the form of petroleum and motor fuels (43%), followed by electricity (26%) and gas (15%). Most of this energy is used by private households and transport (each one third), while manufacturing and services each account for just under one fifth.
- Around 39% of the crude oil that Switzerland imports comes from Nigeria, followed by 32% from the US and 25% from Libya. Switzerland's only oil refinery is located in Cressier (canton of Neuchâtel). It meets one fourth of the country's needs. Finished products are imported almost exclusively from other European countries – first and foremost from Germany.
- Domestically, electricity is mainly produced using hydropower (62%), nuclear power (29%), and renewables-driven and conventional thermal power plants (9%). While Switzerland exports surpluses in the summer, it has to import roughly the same amount of electricity in the winter months.
- In 2020, Switzerland consumed 6.45 MWh of electricity per capita. In a European comparison, this figure is significantly lower than that of Nordic countries such as Norway (21 MWh), Finland (13.9 MWh) and Sweden (11.8 MWh), and higher than that of its neighbours Germany (5.77 MWh), France (6.1 MWh) and Italy (4.58 MWh) – but not Austria (6.86 MWh). Since 2015, electricity consumption in Switzerland has been on a downwards trend.
- The energy transition is currently being implemented in Switzerland through the Energy Strategy 2050, with the goal of climate neutrality. Only 4 of Switzerland's 5 nuclear power plants have been in operation since 2020 and renewable energies' share of total final energy consumption rose to around 28% in 2021.
- There are 682 hydroelectric power stations in Switzerland. They produce around two thirds of the country's total electricity.
- With its 220 dams, Switzerland has the highest density of dams in the world, including the highest gravity dam: the 285-metre-high Grande Dixence in the canton of Valais, which generates energy for 500,000 households each year.