Swiss cantons are calling for the Federal Council to adopt its strategy on the use of green hydrogen with urgency, highlighting the need to establish related infrastructure without delay.
The Conference of Cantonal Energy Directors addressed a letter to the Federal Council, underlining the critical importance of assessing future needs and setting multi-stage targets for the potential production and storage of green hydrogen in Switzerland. The letter, which was reported by the “NZZ am Sonntag” and forwarded to Keystone-ATS on 6 July, clearly communicates the sense of urgency felt by the cantons.
The letter also expresses the cantons’ concern about Switzerland being left behind in the race toward green energy. The European Union’s plans for a hydrogen transport network appear to bypass the Confederation, an omission that the cantons believe should be addressed in Switzerland’s negotiations with the EU concerning an electricity agreement. The cantons stress the necessity for Switzerland to integrate with the European hydrogen grid and market, arguing that this integration should be a key consideration in discussions with the EU.
Switzerland’s deliberation on its green hydrogen strategy comes at a time when countries worldwide are accelerating their efforts to shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources. Hydrogen, particularly green hydrogen produced through the electrolysis of water using renewable energy, has emerged as a promising solution due to its potential for high energy output and zero-carbon emissions.
The benefits of green hydrogen extend beyond just energy production. It can serve as a means of energy storage, offer an alternative fuel for transportation, and play a role in industrial processes such as steel production. However, realizing these benefits requires significant infrastructural investments and strategic planning.
The Swiss cantons’ call to action represents an important step in ensuring that Switzerland remains competitive in the rapidly evolving green energy landscape. However, it also highlights the challenges that Switzerland, like many other countries, faces in transitioning to a green energy future. These challenges include infrastructure development, securing sufficient renewable energy sources for green hydrogen production, and ensuring connectivity with international green energy networks.
The coming months and years will be pivotal in determining Switzerland’s place in the green hydrogen sector. If the Federal Council responds swiftly and favorably to the cantons’ call, Switzerland could yet become a significant player in the green hydrogen market, contributing to global efforts to combat climate change while also securing its own energy future.