Our future is renewable. That is why we are significantly expanding renewable energy. We are focussed on hydroelectric power over the long term, and we are phasing out our current investments in nuclear power plants between now and 2034. And we implement heating networks that provide entire regions with environmentally friendly heating.
We are proud of our hydropower plants – the twelve plants in the Grisons and the three on the Limmat produce the lion’s share of our renewable energy. In contrast to hydraulic power stations that continuously produce electricity, a number of our power plants are extremely flexible because they have their own reservoirs, holding the water back like a battery to allow for flexible use of the turbines. This means that hydroelectric power is also available when there is less sunshine available or the wind turbines aren’t turning.
With ewz, the energy transition is a breeze: we have owned our own wind power plants since 2008, and we hold shares in a number of wind farms. The majority of these systems are located outside of Switzerland, in countries like Germany, France, Sweden and Norway. They are financed via our subsidiary ewz (Deutschland) GmbH. We have also invested in two wind farms in Mollendruz and Provence in western Switzerland. By the end of 2020, 113 wind turbines in 17 wind farms were producing power for us – around one-third of the electricity consumed in Zurich.
Around 20 years ago, we launched the ewz solar power exchange, which has been a great success. Today, the ewz solar power exchange comprises around 300 systems, making it the largest solar power provider in Switzerland. At the same time, it enables ewz to offer producers a fair price that will cover the cost of power generation. So when our solar power customers purchase electricity, they are promoting an environmentally friendly method of production. We also hold shares in the Puerto Errado 2 solar power plant in Spain.
To create environmental added value, we use certificates to purchase green power from Swiss biomass power plants. Biomass is made up of regenerative raw materials such as plants, grain, fruits and vegetables. Plus, we own the wood-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Ilanz, which provides 50 local institutions, companies and private households with heat and green power, and we hold 40 per cent of the shares in the wood-fired CHP plant in Sisslerfeld.
Together with Energie 360°, we operate Switzerland’s first fuel-cell pilot system in the ‘Überbauungs Grünau’ housing estate heating plant in Zürich-Altstetten. Fuel cells offer a new approach to decentralised electricity and heating production by directly and efficiently transforming chemical energy into electricity and heat. Consequently, fuel cells are considered a future-oriented technology for environmentally friendly energy supply.
Since 2010, heat from a deep-borehole heat exchanger has been used to heat several buildings in the Triemli district of Zurich. The main advantage of geothermal energy over other domestic renewable energy sources is that it is available regardless of the prevailing weather conditions, day-to-day changes, and the seasons. Deep geothermal energy is a relatively young field of technology which still requires further research. That’s why we acquired a 14.3-per cent stake in Geo-Energie Suisse AG.
We hold shares in the Gösgen-Däniken AG nuclear power plant. We hold long-term procurement rights for power from the Leibstadt, Switzerland; Bugey, France and Cattenom, France nuclear power plants via AKEB. In 2015 we ceased offering nuclear power in our electricity products, and we will phase out our current investments and procurement rights in nuclear power plants by 2034.
Press release from the Zurich City Council ‘For orderly withdrawal from nuclear energy’
Publication according to Article 4(1) of REMIT – Urgent Market Message
In compliance with the Regulation (EU) No 1227/2011 on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency (REMIT), ewz publishes the most up to date planned and unplanned unavailability of production, storage or consumption facilities owned or operated by ewz. Disclosure of this information is made on the EEX Transparency Platform.
For further information please contact ewz under email@example.com.