Swiss to vote on gradual nuclear phaseout, energy makeover

May 21, 2017 by Nina Larson
Switzerland could gradually replace the power from its ageing nuclear reactors with renewable sources

The Swiss will vote in a referendum Sunday on a planned overhaul of the country's energy system by gradually replacing the power from its ageing nuclear reactors with renewable sources.

The new energy strategy has been in the making since shortly after Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant was destroyed in the March 2011 tsunami disaster, when the Swiss government decided to gradually close its .

Instead, it aims to increase reliance on hydroelectric power as well as renewables like solar, wind, geothermal and biomass.

Early polls indicated broad support for the plan, but the most recent survey, published on May 10, showed the "yes" side slipping to 56 percent—a drop of five points from late March.

According to the latest poll, 37 percent of those questioned meanwhile planned to vote "no" to the new law, up from just 30 percent previously.

Voting stations open at different times across Switzerland, but will all close by noon (1000 GMT) Sunday.

Most Swiss voters meanwhile have already cast their ballots by post in the weeks leading up to the referendum, which is part of the country's famous system of direct democracy.

The government's 2050 energy strategy aims to decommission Switzerland's five ageing reactors, which today produce around a third of the country's electricity, as they reach the end of their safe operational lifespan.

But since all of Switzerland's nuclear plants have open-ended operating licences, there is no clear cut-off date determining when they should be shut down.

Last November, Swiss voters rejected a call to speed up the phaseout of the plants, which wanted to limit their operational lifespan to 45 years, in a move that would have forced three of the five reactors to close this year.

'Cold shower'?

While the new energy plan does not contain a clear timetable for the nuclear phaseout, it does contain ambitious targets for reducing energy consumption and for improving energy efficacy.

Compared to levels seen in 2000, it aims to cut the average per person per year by 16 percent by 2020 and by 43 percent by 2035.

It also calls for a rapid increase in the use of renewable power sources.

The Swiss parliament supports the new law, with the exception of the country's largest political party, the populist Swiss People's Party (SVP), which requested Sunday's referendum.

SVP maintains the energy shift would be too expensive, would threaten Switzerland's energy supply and would "disfigure" the country's pristine natural landscape with more wind turbines and solar panels.

The party has campaigned heavily against the plan, maintaining that it would cost around 200 billion Swiss francs ($205 billion, 179 billion euros) to implement until 2050.

This, it claims in campaign posters plastered around the country, would amount to 3,200 Swiss francs per four-person household per year in additional energy costs and taxes, with no guarantee of hot water.

"Who wants to pay 3,200 francs more... for a cold shower?" the posters ask.

The government has rejected that claim, maintaining that the additional cost per household would be about 40 Swiss francs per year compared to today's prices.

And it has stressed that this cost could easily be offset by improving efficiency in buildings, which reduces heating costs.

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WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) May 21, 2017
Faux-greens(pro-fossil fuel lobbyists) are trying to deceive the Swiss people.
Intermittent renewables are a trillion-euro fiasco in terms of CO2 reduction, e.g. Germany.
"Energiewende is an economic, financial, ecological, social and climatological disaster, says co-founder of Green Party"
http://bazonline....21856097
https://translate...21856097
For each installed-gigawatt of intermittent energy it is needed a gigawatt from coal and/or natural gas/fracking to keep lights on when sun is not shining or wind is not blowing or during prolonged droughts because cost-effective batteries do not exist and are ever far from becoming realty.
Air pollution from fossil fuels(backup for intermittent renewables) respects no border and is killing thousands of people each day, millions each year.
EmceeSquared
3 / 5 (4) May 22, 2017
The ex-Green Swiss person you're citing also defended "Red Army Faction" terrorists, so his values are dubious.

Most Greens (ie. those who weren't also the Swiss Interior Minister) have chosen neither the catastrophic hastening of civilization collapse within a century from petrofuel Greenhouse pollution, nor the catastrophic ongoing poisoning of civilization (that will compound for the entire foreseeable future) of nuke waste and other nuke production realities.

Non-faux greens who don't peddle doublespeak understand that installed GWs of sustainable energy sources don't require an extra GW of petrofuels, but rather merely don't eliminate an entire GW of existing petrofuels - at least not quite yet.

Some of us also know that battery tech is coming fast, even faster than projected by investors just a few years ago; some being tested might have already arrived. And want a better grid so intermittency is eliminated across geographies.

WillieWard:
Faux-greens
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) May 22, 2017
Some of us also know that battery tech is coming fast, even faster than projected by investors just a few years ago; some being tested might have already arrived.

- First battery 1749
- First solar cell 1877
- First windmill generator 1887
No major commercial battery breakthrough since Li-phosphate 1996(two decades), it's a very mature technology, its physics is well known and understood, it is not expected any major breakthrough.
https://pbs.twimg...5BVh.jpg
"Suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy." - Dr. James Hansen(climate scientist)
Guy_Underbridge
3.7 / 5 (3) May 22, 2017
I'll un-ignore Willy once PO publishes a peer-reviewed article demonstrating he's finally gotten a clue.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (4) May 22, 2017
Well the vote is in. Switzerland has voted (58% in favor) for the phaseout (i.e. no new nuclear reactors and the existing ones to be gradually replaced with renewables when they are considered to be no longer safe as well as more investement in renewables and more restrictive CO2 limits for vehicles).

Switzerland is already 60% on renewables, has a lot of potential for further wind (and even solar) with very good capability for buffering through hydro...and they're also in the European energy grid.

So don't you worry your pretty little head about the Swiss. They'll be all right.
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) May 22, 2017
Forget nukes. Trumpy is going to give us coal! Yup the "new fuel" of the 1790s.
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 22, 2017
"In truth, nuclear power is the best energy source, in all respects. That's why greens are forced to use lies to fight nuclear power."
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 22, 2017
...no new nuclear reactors and the existing ones to be gradually replaced with renewables...
Faux-greens believe in their own lies. The truth is that the carbon-free nuclear power plants around the world are being replaced mostly by coal and/or natural gas/fracking.
In Germany, wind and solar plants, are coal plants.
In California, wind and solar plants, are gas plants.
Wind and solar are just expensive placebos backed up by fossil fuels to compensate intermittencies that are failing miserably to curb CO2 emissions everywhere even after trillions of dollars spent.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) May 22, 2017
Gosh, Willie, got a few billion dollars?

They need it for Vogtle, the plants we gave an immense government handout to, . . remember?

The VC Summer plants are in trouble, too since Westinghouse Nuclear went BUST.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) May 23, 2017
Here it is, Willie, the Death of Nukes:

"Tucson Electric signs solar + storage PPA for 'less than 4.5¢/kWh"

www.utilitydive.c...443293/?

If the economic disasters called Vogtle ever get finished, they will produce power at over 15 cents, over three times the cost of clean power without nuclear waste with which to deal.

DEAD, Willie.
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 23, 2017
"Tucson Electric signs solar + storage PPA for 'less than 4.5¢/kWh"
In every news involving wind/solar/batteries, there is always a smell of scam in the air.
It is interesting to notice that most of solar vendors do not have solar panels installed on their roofs, i.e. most of them "don't eat their own dog food".
Some of them have, but are still connected to fossil-fueled grids; and those who are 100% off-the-grid do not inform the public about the real costs of batteries and maintenance, and subsidies.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) May 23, 2017
" do not inform the public about the real costs of batteries and maintenance, and subsidies."
-------------------------------

We just gave it to you. One-third the cost of nukes, . . and no nuclear waste.
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 23, 2017
"Germany spends €25 billion a year on green subsidies and have the highest EU energy bills no wonder greens focus exclusively on spot prices"
gkam
1 / 5 (6) May 23, 2017
That is yesterday's "news".

Our technologies are better than that now, and your filthy nukes cannot compete.
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) May 23, 2017
Your placebo technologies cannot replace fossil fuels and are failing miserably to curb CO2 emissions everywhere even after trillions of dollars spent.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) May 23, 2017
Gosh, Willie, I did it myself right here at home.

How about you?
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 23, 2017
I did it myself right here at home.
Are you still connected to fossil-fueled grid?I bet so.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) May 23, 2017
Yes, Willie, it lets me help myself and my society by displacing power at peak, when it is most needed, and doing it bypassing the transmission systems. Instead of just being selfish, this allows me to help others as well.

How do you like that 4.5 cent/kWh storage plus PV? No way you can compete with that!
gkam
1 / 5 (6) May 23, 2017
"Tucson Electric Power has signed a power purchase agreement for a solar-plus-storage system at "an all-in cost significantly less than $0.045/kWh over 20 years," according to a company official. Exact prices are confidential, but a release pegged the PPA for the solar portion of the project at below $0.03/kWh."
--------------------------

Last I looked, the prices for Vogtle were already up to 15 Cents/kWh, and that was before Westinghouse went BK.

The star to which you hitched your wagon turned out to be a lead weight.
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 23, 2017
100MW installed, capacity factor around 30%, producing 30MW on average, and still has to recharge the batteries, it sounds like gskam's scheme of perpetual motion that power the entire state.
When energy is most needed, at night, or on cloudy days, or when wind doesn't blow, unicorn energy is on vacation, for example, to recharge batteries of the eco-nuts electric cars.
https://uploads.d...f818.jpg
gkam
1 / 5 (6) May 23, 2017
Stop the whining and read the story and see the specifications.

You lose for good here.
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 23, 2017
"Tesla Solar Roofs Are Very Expensive And Their Warranty Is Far From Infinite" - May 23, 2017
https://www.solar...nfinite/
wind and solar = scam of the century
gkam
1 / 5 (6) May 23, 2017
Not mine, Willie.

And it pays for itself.
howhot3
3.4 / 5 (5) May 23, 2017
The androcentric scientific and meta-scientific evidence that solar roofs is an efficient source of energy is considered overwhelming and largely uncontroversial.

WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 24, 2017
"Study: Batteries For Wind And Solar Do 'More Harm Than Good' For Environment"
http://climatecha...ronment/
http://www.housto...0007.php
"Photovoltaics and batteries—an expensive combination"
https://phys.org/...ion.html
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 24, 2017
"Tucson Electric signs solar + storage PPA for 'less than 4.5¢/kWh"
http://www.utilit...443293/?
Scam in the air: "Exact prices are confidential"
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 24, 2017
"Apparently, clouds interfere with solar energy. Who knew?"
http://www.smh.co...p2u.html
gkam
1 / 5 (6) May 24, 2017
$190,000,000,000 is a lot of money to "clean up" a disaster caused by a technology out of control of the operators and designers. And nobody went to jail!

We cannot afford nuclear power!
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 24, 2017
Good question:
"What happened to the radiation that was supposed to last thousands of years in Hiroshima (1945)?"
Godzilla probably ate all the radiation, including that of Fukushima and the entire Pacific Ocean.
http://www.badmov...rus4.jpg
https://www.quora...Hardwick
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 27, 2017
Switzerland's grid produces around 20gCO₂/kWh(thanks to hydro and carbon-free nuclear power)
Germany is over 500gCO₂/kWh on average (thanks to intermittent renewables backed up by fossil fuels).
Even so, Swiss faux-greens want to follow Germany Energiewende, a trillion-euro ecological disaster. Lamentable!
http://www.enviro...-closure
http://www.enviro...-in-2016
https://www.elect...map.org/
https://www.energ...ower.htm
gkam
1 / 5 (6) May 27, 2017
This is really funny. With each of my comments I can make five followers automatically vote me a one.

It's like Pavlov's bow-wows.

"Tinkle-tinkle", . . . .
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 27, 2017
Who but george kamburoff takes george kamburoff seriously?
Nobody here.
Nobody out there, which is why he spends all his time here (wasting ours).

gkam
May 28, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 28, 2017
"Small Quantity: the whole highly radioactive waste from Switzerland for over 45 years only fits in a warehouse."
http://nuklearia...._001.jpg
http://nuklearia....st-sexy/
People are exposed to more radiation in a commercial flight than standing in front a nuclear waste cask.
https://pbs.twimg...kDGT.jpg
gkam
1 / 5 (6) May 28, 2017
The total waste from 40 years of operating my own power system, the PV on the roof, I only produce , . . oh,wait, there is NO lethal waste from my system!

Sorry about yours.
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) May 28, 2017
there is NO lethal waste from my system!
You forget about arsenide and other chemical carcinogens present in solar cells that never lose their toxicity.
https://uploads.d...7c03.jpg
https://uploads.d...de73.jpg
https://uploads.d...3418.jpg
https://uploads.d...fdb4.jpg
https://uploads.d...d724.jpg
gkam
1 / 5 (5) May 28, 2017
None of that is released, Willie, unlike the stuff from nukes.

What are those really high stacks for that we see at almost all nuke plants?

Two words: Nuclear Waste.
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) May 29, 2017
"All natural substances contain radioactive material. In fact, beer contains thirteen times as much radioactivity as the cooling water discharged from a nuclear power plant."
https://uploads.d...c11b.jpg
According to Greenpeace: solar is not clean.
"the production of many components is energy intensive and polluting."
http://www.greenp...g/36885/
gkam
1 / 5 (5) May 29, 2017
"All natural substances contain radioactive material. In fact, beer contains thirteen times as much radioactivity as the cooling water discharged from a nuclear power plant."
--------------------------------------

Nope.

The 350 metric tons of water leaking out of Fukushima every day is extremely contaminated. What are you going to do about it?
WillieWard
5 / 5 (1) May 29, 2017
"Radiation in fish off Fukushima tests below detectable level"
http://www.asahi....039.html
"All Fukushima seafood samples pass safety tests for radioactivity"
http://www.asahi....003.html
"Pacific Ocean radiation back near normal after Fukushima: study"
https://phys.org/...ima.html
"In truth, nuclear power is the best energy source, in all respects. That's why greens are forced to use lies to fight nuclear power."


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