Data on the use of photovoltaic potential in Swiss municipalities show that we are not very good students in this area, especially in Geneva.
Faced with the risk of energy shortages, induced by the war in Ukraine and the French nuclear crisis, it suddenly becomes urgent to maximize local electricity production. Solar holds great potential, but the data we publish today shows that Switzerland is lagging behind in this area. This is especially true in Geneva.
Here is a clean and inexhaustible energy on the human time scale. It seems inconceivable that we have not so far exploited this resource that falls from the sky. However, photovoltaic technology is not new, as we have known since 1839 how to turn light into electricity. Yes, 1839!
“It seems inconceivable that we have not so far exploited this resource that falls from the sky.”
Of course, the price of solar panels has long been prohibitive and their production is not even environmentally neutral. But production costs have already come down a lot and technology is constantly advancing. However, we are on the right track. New solar power plants regularly appear everywhere, some of them large in size.
So how to speed up the movement? Do we need more financial incentives? Reintroduce the cost-price remuneration abolished by the Confederation? Remove administrative and heritage obstacles? Train more manpower in this sector? Probably some of this.
Perhaps it is illusory to hope to use the country’s full solar potential. But we must be able to do much better than the painfully few percent achieved so far in most Swiss municipalities. Too bad it takes a war and the threat of blackout to figure out what should have been obvious for a long time.
Antoine Grosjean he has been a journalist for the Geneva section since 2001. He deals with regional news, particularly in the fields of the environment, climate issues and the energy transition. You have also worked in the Swiss section for several years.More information