The Swiss government has announced its plan for dealing with anticipated energy shortages in winter. It sounds great – provided that you are a shut-in who enjoys reading under multiple blankets by candlelight.
According to Daily Mail reports, the alpine country — which is one of the most wealthy in the world — will restrict electric vehicles from its roads. If the country runs out power, EVs will not be permitted to travel beyond “essential” purposes.
However, the restrictions do not end there.
Three levels of energy rationing are required by the contingency plan.
The lowest extreme would see most buildings limited to 20C (68F), and people asked to limit their washing machine to 40C [104F].
The mid-tier would allow retail stores to reduce their hours by two per shopping day. Many buildings would have their heat reduced to 19C (66F) and nightclubs wouldn’t be permitted any heat — though that might not be a problem given other restrictions.
Are there any sports stadiums? Closed. There are also movie theaters.
The Swiss may not find any relief at home. Gaming consoles and streaming services such as Netflix could be banned if the worst happens.
Nearly two-thirds (or more) of the energy generated by the Swiss comes from hydroelectric sources. These sources produce little electricity in winter when water is frozen as snow or ice.
The nuclear power plant accounts for the majority of their remaining power.
Perhaps, considering their country’s location in the friggin Alps, they could have changed that ratio, but no. Instead, the government decided to completely eliminate nuclear power.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
If you have ever been to Europe’s alpine regions, it is clear that Europeans are skilled at building superior infrastructure when they choose.
My wife and I drove from Nice, France to Porto Venere, northern Italy, a few years back. It was a short drive of about four hours, with some stops to take in the beautiful scenery.
It is truly breathtaking. The majority of the drive is along or near the coast. However, many areas don’t have any beach. The Mediterranean’s navy blue waters rubbed up against the almost shear mountain sides.
The entire A10 highway is made up of two components: elevated roads that run between mountains and tunnels that go through them. It was all ingeniously designed, meticulously constructed, and lovingly maintained.
The human engineering was to me just as amazing as any Mother Nature could conjure up.
The Europeans are experts at building infrastructure. They will, if they so choose.
When you see that a country is going to turn off the heat because it can’t produce enough electricity this winter, know that they have done this by choice.