Switzerland To Launch Solar Auctions For 150 kW & Above

Swiss Federal Council Clears Plans For Solar Auctions & Boosts PV Capacity For Alpine Region

Switzerland To Launch Solar Auctions For 150 kW & Above

The auction system for PV will replace the existing FIT regime in Switzerland for solar PV systems from January 1, 2023. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: swissdrone/Shutterstock.com)

  • Federal Council has amended ordinances to launch solar auctions for projects with 150 kW capacity and above
  • To encourage solar PV system installations in the Alpine region, it will offer a height bonus
  • Separate special auctions may be held for PV on infrastructure systems since these can have higher costs and may not be competitive in auctions
  • Swissolar has welcomed the measures, but is not happy with 150 kW entry limit since these projects may lose out against larger systems due to higher costs

Under new ordinances amended by the Federal Council of Switzerland to strengthen the country’s energy supply, it will launch auctions to award solar power projects with 150 kW capacity and above, and also offer a ‘height bonus’ for alpine solar PV systems since these are ‘important for winter electricity’.

This is the 1st time the country is introducing auctions for large PV systems, to come into effect from January 1, 2023, which will then replace the feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme that’s due to get over at the end of 2022.

Under the auction scheme, producers generating solar electricity at the cheapest price will be awarded the contract. Systems installed on infrastructure systems as dams or noise barriers often have high costs and may not be competitive in the auctions, but for these the administration may consider special auctions in the future.

An information sheet on participation in solar PV auctions is available on the council’s website.

Incentives will also be available for larger systems that use the entire roof area, come up on facades and walls, along with alpine systems.

The council has also exempted test systems for the planning of large-scale PV systems in alpine area from the building permit requirement, but stipulates that these be removed again after 24 months (see Switzerland Bats For 45 TWh RE Production In 2050).

Swiss solar association Swissolar is not too happy with the council’s decision to have system sizes from 150 kW to participate in auctions since it believes such systems will probably lose out against larger systems due to higher costs, even though ‘greater potential lies in medium-sized roof systems. The association has recommended a limit of 500 kW.

However, it considers this a positive sign that special auctions can be carried out for special types of systems.

“When adjusting the subsidy contributions (one-off payment), a sense of proportion was maintained and the price increase for the components caused by the pandemic was taken into account,” observed Swissolar.

Recently, Swiss utility Axpo announced plans to develop over 1.2 GW solar PV capacity in the Alps and residential areas by 2030.

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

SENIOR NEWS EDITOR Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews, she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power. In the past 9 years that she has been associated with TaiyangNews, she has covered over thousands of stories, and analysis pieces on markets, technology, financials, and more on a daily basis. She also hosts TaiyangNews Conferences and Webinars. Prior to joining TaiyangNews, Anu reported on sustainability, management, and education for leading print dailies in India. [email protected]

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