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Photovoltaics - Responsibilities and Activities of the Confederation, the Cantons and Municipalities

The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), which is part of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), has overall responsibility for the energy sector in Switzerland. Close coordination with the cantons takes place.

Confederation:

The entire coordination is done by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. The responsibilities of the Confederation in the photovoltaics sector include:

  • Coordination and management of the photovoltaic programme (RTD) within Swiss energy research
  • Indirect promotion of the market by information and communication
  • Quality assurance issues
  • Educational Issues
  • Coordination with specialized organizations; especially with SWISSOLAR
  • Coordination with other federal offices (e.g. OPET, SER, SECO, FOEN, SDC)
  • Coordination with international cooperation, especially IEA and the EU

The current energy laws regulate the direct support of installations (financial contributions). The Confederation can take part in the supportive activities of the cantons by means of global contributions.

Cantons:

The cantons are an important link in the chain for the increased practical use of photovoltaics. On one hand, their responsibilities are defined by current energy laws. On the other hand, the programme SwissEnergy represents the common basis for the cantons' activities; with its goals in the area of renewable energies.

The activities of the cantons in the sector of photovoltaics include the following areas:

  • Assistance of cantonal institutions: professional schools, universities, and universities for applied science
  • Support for pilot and demonstration installations
  • Information campaigns, education and events
  • Supportive measures for the promotion of the cantonal economy

These activities are usually coordinated by specific cantonal energy offices. Information is usually conveyed by the cantonal energy advice centers.

Promotion of Photovoltaics in the Cantons

The cost-covering remuneration directive for feed-in to the electricity grid (CRF) respectively the feed-in remuneration at cost, supersedes any previous cantonal photovoltaic support programmes and/or tax deductions.
More information: http://www.bfe.admin.ch/dienstleistungen/00465/index.html?lang=en&dossier_id=00880

Municipalities :

The municipalities (and cities) play an essential role in projects realisation concerning renewable energies. Based on their responsibility and their local embodiment, they are in the situation to transfer concrete measures and to communicate effectively face-to-face with the resident population. Especially energy aware communities can be awarded the Energiestadt label.

Municipalities can support photovoltaic through the following measures:

  • System models in municipal buildings (ex. schools, administration, sport spots)
  • Systems for infrastructure assignments (ex. lighting, control tables, parking meters)
  • Services through municipal suppliers (municipal plants, city plants)
  • Information campaign and energy apprenticeship path

Through the EW (power station) solar electricity action, the municipal plants can contribute to an extent market development.