Energy and Landscape
The Federal Government's Energy Strategy 2050 envisages the phasing-out of nuclear power and increased use of renewable energies. This will impact both the environment and society. We identify possible consequences for the landscape.
Energy Strategy 2050, which was adopted by the Federal Council, requires a massive conversion of the current energy system; specifically more water, solar and wind energy, and no replacement of existing nuclear power plants. In addition, there are energy-saving measures and adjustments in the distribution of energy. This entails both risks and opportunities for the environment and society. The energy revolution requires space, so it will affect the landscape, its benefits and its use. Wind turbines, for example, change the landscape and indirectly influence tourism and recreation. We determine how the public evaluate such measures and what kind of conflicts of interest or use arise.
Decisions must be made now for the conversion of the energy system. Setting our course for the future in this regard should involve consideration of the possible consequences for the environment and society. This includes, for example, the assessment of the available renewable energy sources from biomass (wood, green waste, manure, etc.), wind, water or the sun. An important question is whether there is enough water available for the expansion of hydropower in the face of global warming which causes glacial melting and changes in precipitation.
The transformation of the Swiss energy system will require a collaborative effort from diverse disciplines. We examine possible impacts on natural resources, including the impact on the landscape. To this end, we launched the "Energy Change Impact" programme in 2014 in cooperation with Eawag. The programme makes its findings available to decision-makers from government and industry.