For the new large-scale photovoltaic systems in the mountains, the State Council Energy Commission also wants to scratch the environment protection. The Landscape Protection Foundation responded with dismay.
The State Assembly’s Committee on Environment and Energy wrote that electricity production urgently needs to increase, especially in the winter months. This additional production of electricity must be based on renewable energies.
Commission Chair Elizabeth Bohm Schneider (SP/JU) is making a clear political signal. The construction of photovoltaic systems in buildings, infrastructure, and open spaces should be quickly feasible through urgent federal law.
It is indeed a political sign that the urgent focus must now be placed on renewable energies.
The focus is on open areas in the mountains
For solar systems in open areas in the mountains, the committee may wish to dispense with planning and EIA if the system is large enough and required. In the case of alpine photovoltaics, biodiversity can be combined with electricity production, Baum-Schneider emphasizes: “It is important to assess interests.” And yes, there may be compromises when it comes to landscape protection.
The entire legal system cannot be bypassed here.
At the Landscape Conservation Foundation, Director-General Raymond Ruddwald responded with dismay: “The entire legal system cannot be bypassed here. Not even temporarily, but surely. There is no longer a balance between interests and democratic participation. I already wonder where we are.” If landscaping worthy of protection is not mentioned, Rodwald fears that everything could be built anywhere.
The reactions of the various members of the sister committee of the National Assembly, for its part, which is discussing measures to ensure the security of energy supplies, were less violent.
Looks like the Greens are ready to discuss
While the Green Party has recently spoken out clearly against such an approach, its national advisor in Thurgau Kurt Egger now says publicly: “We still have to look at the terms of the framework, but they are going in the right direction. Our position paper talks about proximity to existing infrastructure. , where they don’t overlap – like ski lifts. Then we can discuss it.”
Obviously it only works this way – with an override.
On the other side of the political spectrum, in Senior Vice President, Berne National Counsel Albert Rusti warned: “If you look at what has been banned from hydropower plants and other production facilities in the past 20 years, it is clear that it is only possible in this way — with commentary. Otherwise, private interests outweigh those of the economy as a whole and society as a whole.”
The decision of the State Assembly’s Environment and Energy Committee is therefore welcome as a step in the right direction. Baum Schneider emphasizes that it is primarily about creating a legal framework and thus giving companies and authorities planning and legal certainty.
Solar commitment for all new buildings with final vote
The commission also decided that the federal government should make its appropriate areas – buildings and infrastructure – available for additional solar energy. In addition, from the beginning of 2024, there will be a commitment to solar energy for all new buildings. However, this decision was taken in the commission only with the vote of the president weighing. The basics should be available by fall.
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