In October 2022, the Swiss government introduced measures for rapid approval and construction of alpine photovoltaic projects. The company will launch a new incentive plan in April 2023.
In October 2022, Switzerland amended its Energy Law, with a focus on taking urgent measures to ensure winter electricity supply. The new law aims to promote the installation of large terrestrial photovoltaic systems in the Swiss Alps at an altitude of 1500 meters or higher.
So far, there are few details about this law. Before the official release of the report in April 2023, Lionel Block, co author of the report "IEA-PVPS Task 1 Swiss Photovoltaic Applications" and renewable energy project manager of Swiss engineering company Planair, said, "Our idea is to truly focus on winter photovoltaic power generation, because in Switzerland, our photovoltaic systems installed in mountainous areas generate more electricity than those installed in low altitude areas."
Block claims that these measures will allegedly encourage the installation of alpine photovoltaic projects with an annual power generation capacity of over 10GWh, with an installed capacity equivalent to over 8MW.
It is said that the Swiss government will provide subsidies of up to 60% of the installation cost for eligible photovoltaic projects. Block said, "This includes the cost of cables, which makes installing alpine photovoltaic projects very expensive. The cost of these alpine photovoltaic projects is about 6 Swiss francs/W ($6.47/W), while the cost of installing photovoltaic systems in urban areas is about 1.2 Swiss francs/W. With these very high subsidies, owners can still make a profit."
In order to receive subsidies, these photovoltaic projects must demonstrate a minimum power generation capacity of 500 kWh/kW in winter. Block said that this could only be achieved by installing photovoltaic systems on high mountains. To meet this requirement, photovoltaic developers may focus on installing vertical photovoltaic systems and utilizing the higher reflectivity of double-sided photovoltaic modules.