Christophe Brand, CEO of electricity company Axpo, is putting the brakes on the newly-flamed nuclear power plant debate. In the next 20 years, no new nuclear power plant will be connected to the grid anyway, he explains to “CH media”. In doing so, it at least partly contradicts the LDP parliamentarians and senior vice president, who want to achieve climate goals with nuclear power. Because according to the brand: “Nuclear power alone will not solve Switzerland’s energy problem by 2050”
Like nuclear lobbies, the brand is open to new technologies. But it does not exist yet and investors are even less so. The approval and construction procedures did not allow for the construction of new nuclear power plants within a reasonable period of time. While renewable power plants are getting cheaper and cheaper, nuclear power plants are not.
Building a new nuclear power plant in Europe costs billions. It will be around 2050 by the time it comes online, so the brand would rather rely on alpine solar plants and wind turbines—but in the right way.
The discussion should not be about nuclear power plants, but about renewables: “How can we build 800 wind turbines and 100 square kilometers of photovoltaic systems in the Alps as quickly as possible,” says Brand. These are dimensions that make today’s success story from the Swissolar association pale in comparison: 60 percent of the photovoltaics installed in 2022 – a record, but still only about five square kilometres.
Similar to Axpo, it also appears in BKW. Today it announced that it has acquired one of the largest wind energy projects in Italy. In Puglia, 31 will be added to the Italian Bernese 500 wind turbines.
There’s also a lot going on when it comes to photovoltaics, BKW writes, thanks to the Parliament-passed “Solar Express”. Dozens of orders have already been placed for Alpine solar systems. At the same time, the electric company also raises a warning finger: the hurdles are still higher than what Fast deserves.
Here, too, there is an agreement with Axpo: for example, the well-meaning “Wind-Express”,
But it’s not enough, says CEO Christophe Brand. If nuclear power goes away, and the wind and sun don’t reach top speed, you’ll end up where you didn’t want to go: at gas power plants.
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