• Switzerland’s SFOE has been tasked to provide CHF 46 million as additional amount in the form of solar incentives to support the industry during the pandemic
  • Processing period for large scale solar capacity registrations have almost gone while for small scale systems the waiting time has been considerably reduced
  • Funds will be paid out within 14 days of final orders, due to the pandemic

The Swiss government has announced CHF 46 million ($47 million) as a special quota to support the expansion of solar PV facilities in the European country in view of the coronavirus situation, available within 2020. The Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication (DETEC) says this is a special quota from the network surcharge fund and will be made available by the Federal Office of Energy (SFOE).

In October 2019, the network surcharge fund was approved to have a limit of CHF 330 million ($338 million), and now with the addition of CHF 46 million, it has expanded to CHF 376 million ($385 million).

It will benefit solar project developers while also helping local planning and installation industry including several small and medium enterprises (SME), the department said, since it would bring down the waiting period for subsidies by around a year.

The waiting list for large systems in particular can be completely ‘dismantled’ and for all registrations received since February 2020 the processing period is of around 3 months. All registrations made before February 2020 will get the decision latest by mid-May 2020.

Applications submitted by system operators for small scale PV systems till March 31, 2020 will be processed by the end of this year. SFOE has also decided to bring down the waiting period for new registrations from April 2020 to around 9 months.

SFOE has also said funds granted during the pandemic measures will be paid out within 14 days of the final orders.

Compared to Q1/2019, the government says there was strong growth in the installation and registration activity for solar in the country during Q1/2020. But with COVID-19 impact, it expects the market to weaken from April 2020 onwards. This CHF 46 million funding is aimed at stabilizing the expansion from summer 2020 and accelerate it further from 2021.