Weather key factor in higher 2012 Swiss energy consumption, production

More snow and rain helped boost hydraulic power by 18.%


Hydroelectric station in Valais: Swiss production rose by 18.1% in 2012

BERN, SWITZERLAND – A cold first three months in 2012 lie behind a 0.6 percent increase in energy used last year. Switzerland consumed 59 billion kWh (kilowatt hours) of energy in 2012,the Federal Energy Office said Wednesday 17 April.

The figure climbs to 63.4b when energy transport and distribution losses are added in. Three main factors contribute to energy consumption: weather, gross domestic product changes and population shifts. GDP rose by 1 percent in 2012 and while official figures for population growth are not yet available, Bern estimates this at 0.9 percent for last year.

Production also rose, to 68b, the highest figure since the record year of 2001. Hydraulic power in particular rose by 18.1 percent. The country’s energy production breakdown for 2012:

hydraulic, 58.7 percent
nuclear, 35.8 percent
conventional thermal power stations and other, 5.5 percent.

The country had a slightly smaller energy import/export surplus than in 2011, with 2.2 billion kWh last year, compared to 2.6b the previous year.