Effectiveness of subsidies for large photovoltaic installations

Swiss Federal Office of Energy

Key facts

In order to achieve its targets in terms of energy and climate policy, the Confederation has taken measures to substantially increase electricity production by means of photovoltaics (PV). Photovoltaics are to replace nuclear power as the most important pillar of Swiss electricity production, along with hydropower, by 2050. The production targets for solar electricity have been raised several times, while the measures have been repeatedly modified. Since 2014, the non-recurrent remuneration for photovoltaic installations, designed as an investment contribution, has gradually replaced the cost-covering remuneration for feed-in to the electricity grid (CRF), which has been paid out since 2009, as the most important subsidy for solar power. By the end of 2022, a total of CHF 1.5 billion in subsidies from the grid supplement fund was granted under non-recurrent remuneration for 130,000 PV installations, with an annual production of 2.6 terawatt hours. Furthermore, federal regulations are driving additional financial incentives and the legal possibilities for more solar power plants. These include, in particular, regulations on self-consumption of the solar power produced, on feeding back to the electricity grid operators and on spatial planning. Mandatory PV for new buildings, information measures and federal and cantonal tax regulations, as well as supplementary subsidies from individual cantons and communes, also have an impact on the increase in the number of solar power installations.