(DailyVantage.com) – The colder months of the year typically come with increased energy costs as people crank up the heat to stay warm. However, as the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia affect imports, some countries are preparing for the worst. Among the affected nations, Switzerland is taking the necessary steps to ensure it can weather the winter. Officials have warned that electric car owners might need to put away their vehicles if the situation worsens.
Switzerland’s Energy Sources
Most of Switzerland’s electricity comes from hydroelectric power stations, which generate a surplus in the warmer months. Yet, during the cooler months, the country must rely on energy imports as river levels drop too low to support the stations.
Just under one-third of Switzerland’s electricity comes from nuclear power, but the nation already has plans to phase out those plants by 2050. The remaining 10% comes from both fossil fuels and wind power.
According to Euro Weekly News, Switzerland’s fluctuating seasons create a problem — such as Europe’s dry summer this year — it can affect output and cause unexpected shortages. The effects could lead to blackouts in the country should energy reserves drop to dangerously low levels.
According to The Telegraph, Swiss government officials have drafted contingency proposals that would go into effect should an energy crisis occur. They consist of several tiers divided into two circumstances — crisis and emergency. The first escalation would restrict heating public buildings to a maximum temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The government would also limit the temperature of washing machines to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
That’s just the beginning. Should the energy crisis progress, the government could order temps lowered to around 66 degrees and require businesses to close two hours early. One of the biggest hits would be restricting electric vehicles to essential use only, meaning no leisure travel, to conserve resources. With approximately 40% of the population driving electric cars as of 2021, this measure could become a significant burden.
The shortages could also affect other elements of life, such as hot water availability in public restrooms and the deactivation of escalators in shopping malls. In a worst-case scenario, officials could mandate the cancellation of public events, including concerts and sports matches, and force any non-essential businesses to shutter their doors.
Do you think Switzerland is doing the right thing by moderating its energy usage?
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