The Association of Swiss Electricity Companies (AES) recently conducted a study on hydrogen, examining a scenario in which Switzerland develops renewable energies while staying integrated into the European energy market.
The report predicts that by 2050, hydrogen could potentially fulfil 20% of Switzerland’s electricity needs in winter. However, the production of hydrogen must use climate-friendly energy sources like wind and solar, as it would be too costly to produce large quantities in Switzerland.
This means that Switzerland would need to import green hydrogen, requiring modifications to existing pipelines or new construction. Europe is currently planning five hydrogen corridors, but Switzerland is not included in any of them.
Matthias Sulzer, an energy researcher at Empa and co-leader of the study, believes that Switzerland needs to clearly define the amount of hydrogen it wants to import and negotiate with Europe to become a valid partner for hydrogen in addition to electricity.
The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) is currently taking stock of the situation and is expected to release a draft national hydrogen strategy by the end of the year, which will provide an overview of the initial situation and help guide future decisions. While enthusiasm for hydrogen is high, concrete plans are still scarce, and it is too early to say whether Switzerland is being overlooked in the hydrogen market.