Germany says Switzerland’s mountains could help stabilise EU power supply
Clean Energy Wire
Germany is interested in finding an agreement with neighbouring Switzerland on how the Alpine country could contribute to German and European power supply security, the German government says in an answer to a parliamentary inquiry. Thanks to its mountainous terrain and ample potential for pumped-hydro storage, Switzerland could provide “flexibility options” for European power markets and help balance supply and demand during times “in which there’s no wind or sunshine.” The EU currently is awaiting a “clear statement” by the Swiss government on what a framework agreement on power trading could look like. It is expected by mid-2019. Germany already has direct power supply from hydro storages in Luxembourg and Austria.
The increasing reliance on renewables as its primary source of electricity makes it necessary for Germany to find solutions to how intermittent power supply by wind and solar plants could be transported and stored for continuous use. The expansion of key grid infrastructure to deliver wind power from the north to industrial centres in the south faces substantial delays due to political opposition at regional level, fanning calls for finding alternative storage solutions, such as a planned grid connection to Norway to use pumped-hydro capacity there or the accelerated development of power-to-gas facilities.