Jacques Moron: “Photovoltaics will not be enough to solve the electricity shortage” – rts.ch

Faced with an explosion in demand, the Federal Council must increase the installation of photovoltaic solar panels in Switzerland. A guest on Thursday at La Matinale, Jacques Moron, CEO of Groupe E, gives his analysis of the country’s energy strategy and the many challenges that need to be addressed.

Among the proposals adopted by the National on Thursday – the accelerated installation of solar panels along national roads and railways. “It is useful to take every drop of water, but we must know that one photovoltaic is not enough to solve the electricity shortage,” said Jacques Moron, managing director of Groupe E, a manufacturer and distributor of Swiss electricity.

Because if photovoltaic electricity produces three quarters of its energy in summer, its production in winter remains insufficient. “If we had made a full energy transition, we would not be suffering from this dependence on Russia today,” said the expert. He explains that the energy transition should also take place through the energy efficiency of buildings, in particular in terms of insulation and the development of other renewable energy sources.

>> Read also: The people of Switzerland are ready to make concessions for clean and safe electricity

canceled orders

In addition, although demand is only growing, the photovoltaic sector is suffering from a shortage of staff and equipment. The reason: fear of turning off the lights and a sharp rise in electricity prices associated with the war in Ukraine.

In Egle (VD), a small Swiss solar facility engineering company is facing a chronic shortage of equipment. “Often the model is not the one that was originally planned. Delivery time lasts from six to eight months. There used to always be a stockpile, ”said Samuel, who heads the company, at the RTS microphone.

The ongoing Covid crisis in China is also affecting the entire industry. “Overnight, container deliveries may be canceled. Then we talk for hours on the phone to find a solution that leads to work overload, “- continues the engineer.

>> Listen to a report from La Matinale à Aigle:

Why are solar panels developing so slowly? / Morning / 3 min. / today at 07:24

The shortcomings that Jacques Moron sees quite favorably. “There is a real awareness of the need to make this energy transition. Now you have to be able to keep up. ” And for good reason: applications from individuals for federal grants for the first four months of the year amounted to almost 9.5 thousand, or 40% more than last year.

If the orders are related, then the selection of qualified personnel for specialized companies remains very difficult. Indeed, there is currently no established sector in the profession. The situation that the Federal Council wants to correct by creating an educational institution in the field of photovoltaics. The roadmap in this direction has already been drawn up.

Risks of deficit are not excluded

The Federal Electricity Commission (ElCom), for its part, announced on Thursday that next year electricity prices will rise sharply for many suppliers. There is also uncertainty about security of supply next winter, and a shortage cannot be ruled out.

According to ElCom, for a five-room household with an average annual consumption of 4,500 kilowatt-hours, the price of electricity will increase from about 21 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2022 to almost 25 cents in 2023, an additional financial burden of about 180 francs a year.

>> Explanation of La Matinale:

Electricity costs will increase from 2023: an explanation from Valentine Emery / La Matinale / 1 min. / today at 06:27

However, in some cases the differences may be greater. There are simple gestures to make the score easier. “Lowering the heating temperature affects the price, we are talking about savings of 6% one degree less than these energies,” – says Jacques Moron.

Interview with Valerie Gauert

Web text: Hélène Krähenbühl

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