The number of solar panels is increasing in Switzerland, but so is opposition

Between 2021 and 2022, solar energy production has increased by 25% in Switzerland. Solar panels installed in the country last year are producing an additional gigawatt of electricity, equivalent to the output of the Gösgen (SO) nuclear power plant, according to the SonntagsBlick.

Photovoltaic installations now provide 6.3% of Switzerland’s electricity needs, or 3.7 terawatt hours per year. “An annual increase of two gigawatts is soon realistic,” said Thomas Nordmann, head of the Swiss Energy-Charts platform, whose data the weekly used.

Read also: A “unique in the world” photovoltaic calibration facility planned for Mont-Soleil

On Friday, the Bernese BKW group also announced with Bern-Belp airport the largest photovoltaic installation on open ground in Switzerland. The area will extend over 25 hectares to produce electricity for 15,000 homes.

Tensions in Valais

However, some projects arouse opposition. In particular those planned in the Valais Alps. Vera Weber, President of the Franz Weber Foundation, thus denounces in Morning Sunday an urgent law that goes against those on land use planning and nature protection. She warns that the resistance will be significant: “A lot of environmental organizations are outraged by the way it is done.”

“It’s completely absurd to want to destroy nature to supposedly save it when there are so many other solutions,” she said. It is a headlong rush to show that we are doing something. She judges the impact of these parks in the great outdoors: “It will not be enough to put up a few panels on pastures. It will be necessary to build bases and infrastructures. Covering existing buildings with solar panels seems to him a better solution.

Read also: In Valais, the race for alpine solar power is accelerating

The Sunday newspaper cites the case of Grengiols (VS), where a solar-test installation was installed at the end of November at 2500 meters above sea level. A group of opponents has already gathered 600 people, according to Vera Weber.

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