Deep geological repositories for radioactive waste have economic, ecological and social impacts on a siting region. These need to be identified objectively and as early as possible so that action can be taken to prevent negative impacts and at the same time opportunities for positive developments can be exploited. It is with these objectives in mind that the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) has been carrying out an intercantonal socioeconomic and ecological study since 2011 in all potential siting regions. The first interim report on the regional economic impacts of a deep geological repository is now available.
Switzerland is consolidating its international commitment to sustainable development. In the spirit of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, SECO and the SDC are together allocating an additional CHF 2 million to the REPIC Platform.
In 2011, end electricity consumption in Switzerland fell by 2.0% to 58.6 billion kilowatt hours (kWh); if losses incidental to transmission and distribution are taken into consideration, end consumption amounted to 63.0 billion kWh. Domestic power plants generated 5.5% less electricity than in 2010: Switzerland generated 62.9 billion kWh, or 60.4 billion kWh after deduction of electricity consumed by storage pumps. Overall this resulted in an electricity import surplus of 2.6 billion kWh (63.0 - 60.4 billion kWh).
A Swiss delegation from the fields of politics, science and industry headed by Walter Steinmann, Director of the Federal Office of Energy, will tour the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar from 14 to 18 January 2012. The Federal Council has conferred the title of Secretary of State on Walter Steinmann for the duration of the visit. In addition to conducting bilateral discussions with a number of ministers from the UAE, the delegation will attend the second session of the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the World Future Energy Summit 2012 in Abu Dhabi.