Electricity consumption in 2007

Bern, 10.04.2008 - Electricity consumption in Switzerland declined by 0.6% in 2007 to 57.4 billion kilowatt hours (kWh). The last time a decrease in consumption was recorded was in 1997. Domestic power plants generated 65.9 billion kWh, or 6.1% more electricity than in 2006. This constitutes the third highest electricity output ever achieved. After consecutive years of electricity import surpluses in 2005 and 2006, an export surplus was achieved once again in 2007.

Electricity consumption in Switzerland (end consumption = domestic consumption after deduction of quantities lost in transmission and distribution) declined by 0.6% in 2007 to 57.4 billion kWh (2006: 57.8 billion kWh). Therefore, for the first time since 1997 consumption fell in comparison to the previous year. This decline in consumption was mainly caused by higher than average temperatures in the first four months of the year that led to a 3.7% reduction in demand for electricity in the first half of 2007. In the 1st quarter in particular electricity consumption fell significantly and was 5.8% below the level for the previous year. Consumption rose by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter and by 4.4% in the 4th quarter. The reduction in Switzerland's electricity consumption and high domestic production meant that less electricity was imported from abroad in both winter quarters (1st and 4th quarters) than in the corresponding winter quarters in 2006. Exports of electricity increased significantly in the summer quarters (2nd and 3rd quarters). This was due to an increase in inland production over the previous year and unchanged demand in Switzerland during the summer.

The general economic conditions also boosted electricity consumption: gross domestic production (GDP) rose in 2007 by 3.1% (source: State Secretariat for Economic Affairs [seco]) and the mean population increased by 60,000 or by 0.8% (source: Swiss Federal Office for Statistics [BFS]). Demand caused by economic factors was more than offset by the warm weather experienced primarily in the first half of the year. In the January to March period, the number of heating degree days (HDD) recorded lay between 12% and 28% below the number for the same period in 2006. In April, the number of HDD sank by a remarkable 61% compared to April 2006. Overall in 2007 the number of HDD decreased by 4.5% because from October to December the number of HDD recorded was higher than that for 2006.

Production: peak for nuclear energy, average production for hydropower

Overall electricity production (domestic production prior to deduction of electricity consumed by storage pumps) at Switzerland's power plants rose in 2007 by 6.1% to 65.9 billion kWh (2006: 62.1 billion kWh). This constitutes the third highest electricity output ever since 2001, which was a record year for production. In all quarters of 2007 domestic production was higher than in the corresponding periods in 2006, with increases varying between 2.1% and 10.6% depending on the quarter.

Under average production conditions, hydropower plants generated 11.7% more electricity than in 2006. Production by fluvial power plants increased by 4.6% and that of storage power plants by 18.4%. Increases in production at hydropower plants varied between 4.2% and 18.0% depending on the quarter.

Electricity production from Swiss nuclear power plants rose by 0.4% to reach a new peak of 26.3 billion kWh (2006: 26.2 billion kWh). Gösgen and Leibstadt plants both reported record production levels in 2007. The availability of the five Swiss nuclear power plants was 93.7% in 2007 (2006: 93.4%).

Hydropower plants contributed 55.2% to overall electricity production, followed by nuclear power plants (40.0%) and conventional thermal and other power plants (4.8%).

Export surplus again after two years of import surpluses on a calendar-year basis

In 2007, domestic production exceeded domestic demand (national consumption) over a seven-month period. With imports totalling 48.5 billion kWh and exports of 50.6 billion kWh, the balance for the full year was an export surplus of 2.1 billion kWh (2006: import surplus of 2.7 billion kWh). In the 1st and 4th quarters the balance of imports was 4.0 billion kWh (2006: 5.4 billion kWh), while an export surplus of 6.1 billion kWh was recorded in the 2nd and 3rd quarters (2006: 2.7 billion kWh).

Address for enquiries

Marianne Zünd, Head of Communications SFOE, Phone 031 322 56 75


Swiss Federal Office of Energy

Last modification 05.01.2016

Top of page