Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics

, Volume 151, Issue 2, pp 125–165 | Cite as

Linking Europe: The Role of the Swiss Electricity Transmission Grid until 2050

  • Ingmar SchlechtEmail author
  • Hannes Weigt
Open Access


The aim of this paper is to evaluate the role of the Swiss electricity transmission system and the planned network extensions in the context of Central European electricity market developments and thereby the Swiss and European energy transitions. In addition, we conduct a sensitivity analysis of delayed grid investments for Swiss and European network projects, respectively. By utilizing a numerical model representation of the Swiss electricity market Swissmod we derive a quantification of the different effects and developments up to 2050. In summary, the Central European market will largely be influenced by the significant increase in intermittent renewable generation. Whereas current power flow patterns are mostly from the Northern markets towards Italy using Switzerland as a transit hub, the large share of solar capacities in 2050 will lead to a high variability on shorter timeframes. While Switzerland will remain a transit hub, the import and export flows will vary with season and daytime. The potential costs and system impacts due to delayed network investments are rather modest in comparison to the overall generation costs but can nevertheless sum to 700 million per year highlighting the importance of network extension to improve cross-regional energy exchange.

JEL-Classification: L94 


Switzerland energy transition network extension investment delay 


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Copyright information

© Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BaselFaculty of Business and EconomicsBaselSwitzerland

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