Stagnation in Switzerland

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"The exaggerated democratic structure of our country," is one of the main reasons why Swiss wind is going nowhere, believes Robert Hobarty, head of the Swiss wind energy program. No turbines were installed in 1999 and only one in 1998. Hobarty is referring to a referendum which halted a wind power feasibility study in St Croix. He is, however, undaunted in his belief that 30 MW of wind now being planned will be installed this year. Swiss Eole, the wind association headed by Hobarty, would like to see improved legislation for renewable energy feed-in tariffs. "The lack of clear sales conditions for locally produced electricity is one reason why development is stuck," he says.

The country's wind capacity amounts to 2.8 MW in ten projects, mostly of single turbines. The single large wind project, 1.8 MW of Vestas turbines, is utility owned and the power is sold directly to customers, while another was built on the basis of a sponsorship agreement.

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