Switzerland's electricity consumption (that is domestic consumption after deduction of 4.3 billion kWh lost in transmission and distribution) fell by 3.1% in 2014 to 57.5 billion kWh (2013: 59.3 billion kWh). Significant decreases in consumption were seen in the first (- 4.7%), second (- 3.7%) and fourth quarters (- 2.9%); in the third quarter electricity consumption only fell marginally in comparison to the corresponding quarter in 2013 (- 0.8%).
In 2014, the following changes were seen in the most significant factors influencing electricity consumption:
Overall electricity production (domestic production prior to deduction of 2.3 billion kWh of electricity consumed by storage pumps) at Switzerland's power plants rose in 2014 by 1.9% to 69.6 billion kWh (2013: 68.3 billion kWh). After the record in production achieved in 2001, this constitutes the second highest electricity output ever recorded. In the first quarter domestic production was lower than in the previous year (- 3.6%); in the three other quarters domestic production was higher than that for 2013 (second quarter: + 4.2%, third quarter: + 5.5%, fourth quarter: + 1.5%).
Hydropower plants (fluvial and storage power plants) generated 0.7% less electricity than in the previous year (fluvial power plants, - 2.9%; storage power plants, + 1.2%). In the summer, hydropower production rose by 0.8%, while in the two winter quarters production fell by 2.5%.
Electricity production from the five Swiss nuclear power plants (NPP) rose by 6.0% to reach a new peak of 26.4 billion kWh (2013: 24.9 billion kWh). Mühleberg NPP established a new record for production and Gösgen NPP increased its generating capacity from the middle of the year. The availability rate of Switzerland's NPPs was 90.9% in 2014 (2013: 86.1%).
Hydropower plants contributed 56.4% to overall electricity production, followed by nuclear power plants (37.9%) and conventional thermal and other power plants (5.7%).
With imports totalling 37.4 billion kWh and exports of 42.9 billion kWh, the balance for 2014 was an export surplus of 5.5 billion kWh (2013: export surplus of 2.4 billion kWh). In the first and fourth quarters, Switzerland imported 0.7 billion kWh net (2013: 1.7 billion kWh) and in the second and third quarters exports of electricity amounted to 6.2 billion kWh net (2013: 4.1 billion kWh).
Revenues from electricity exports amounted to 2,272 million francs (5.32 cents/kWh). Expenditure of 1,830 million francs (4.90 cents/kWh) was incurred for imports. Switzerland's positive balance of foreign trade rose by 35.2% to 442 million francs (2013: 327 million francs).