Thu, 07 Dec 2023

To increase hydropower this winter, Swiss ease regulations

Robert Besser
04 Oct 2022, 00:46 GMT+10

GENEVA, Switzerland: In an effort to ease power shortages this winter, the Swiss government said it will temporarily loosen water restrictions to increase the available water to some hydropower plants.

In a statement, the Swiss cabinet said the seven-month measure will come into force this week and is expected to increase electricity production by up to 150 gigawatt hours (GWh).

The measure will bring more water to 45 hydroelectric power plants that, for ecological reasons, discharge higher amounts of residual water than the legally required minimum.

Switzerland has 1,500 hydroelectric power plants.

The increased production capacity generated by the measure is equivalent to 30 percent of the hydropower reserves the Swiss cabinet has ordered for the coming winter.

While changes in water policies could lead to a temporary restriction of fish migration that could complicate fish stocks in 2023, the measure's impact on the environment was justifiable and proportionate to the economic benefit, the government said.

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