Switzerland's electricity consumption (that is domestic consumption after deduction of 4.4 billion kWh lost in transmission and distribution) rose by 1.4% in 2015 to 58.2 billion kWh (2014: 57.5 billion kWh). The increase in consumption by quarter in 2015 was +3.4% (first quarter), +0.4% (second quarter), +1.1% (third quarter), and +0.3% (fourth quarter).
The following changes in the most significant factors influencing electricity consumption were seen in 2015:
Electricity production (domestic production prior to deduction of 2.3 billion kWh consumed by storage pumps) at Switzerland's power plants fell in 2015 by 5.3% to 66.0 billion kWh (2014: 69.6 billion kWh). Domestic production in the first and second quarters of 2015 was greater than that for 2014 (+3.7% and +1.8% respectively). In contrast, domestic production in the third and fourth quarters was significantly lower than in 2014 (-10.7% and -14.9% respectively).
Hydropower plants (fluvial and storage power plants) generated 0.5% more electricity than in the previous year (fluvial power plants, -3.8%; storage power plants, +3.7%). During the dry summer of 2015, hydropower production rose by 1.2% (fluvial power plants +0.6%, storage power plants +1.8%), while production fell in the two winter quarters by 0.5% (fluvial power plants -11.4%, mainly because of lower than average precipitation in the fourth quarter, storage power plants +5.7%, mainly because of increased generation in the first quarter compared to 2014).
Electricity production from the five Swiss nuclear power plants (NPP) fell by 16.2% to 22.1 billion kWh (2014: 26.4 billion kWh). This fall in production is due to the exceptional production stoppages at Beznau I + II and Leibstadt nuclear power plants. The availability rate of Switzerland's NPPs was 76.0% (2014: 90.9%).
Hydropower plants contributed 59.9% to overall electricity production, followed by nuclear power plants (33.5%), conventional thermal plants and plants using renewable energy (6.6%).
With imports totalling 42.3 billion kWh and exports of 43.3 billion kWh, the balance for 2015 was an export surplus of 1.0 billion kWh (2014: export surplus of 5.5 billion kWh). In the first and fourth quarters, Switzerland imported 3.3 billion kWh net (2014: 0.7 billion kWh) and in the second and third quarters exports of electricity amounted to 4.3 billion kWh net (2014: 6.2 billion kWh).
Revenues from electricity exports amounted to 2,033 million francs (4.72 cents/kWh). Expenditure of 1,799 million francs (4.26 cents/kWh) was incurred for imports. Switzerland's positive balance of foreign trade fell by 47.1% to 234 million francs (2014: 442 million francs).