Following the reactor disaster of Fukushima in 2011, the Federal Council and Parliament decided on Switzerland's progressive withdrawal from nuclear energy production. This decision, together with further far-reaching changes in the international energy environment, requires an upgrading of the Swiss energy system. For this purpose the Federal Council has developed the Energy Strategy 2050. This continues and intensifies the strategic thrust of the Energy Strategy 2007 with new objectives. What is basically new is that the existing five nuclear power stations are to be shut down at the end of their technically safe operating life and not replaced.
On 4 September 2013 the Federal Council submitted to Parliament a draft total revision of the Energy Act. This aimed to significantly develop the existing potential for energy efficiency and exploit the potential of water power and the new renewable energies (sun, wind, geothermal, biomass). The new Energy Act also entails amendments to various other federal laws. Parliament approved the law proposal on 30 September 2016, and Swiss voters followed suit on 21 May 2017. The new legislation has been in force since 1 January 2018, with the exception of the revised Federal Act on Direct Federal Taxation, which will not come into force until 1 January 2020.
Parliament has already boosted the development of renewable energies through an amendment to the Energy Act, which came into force at the beginning of 2014 (Parliamentary Initiative 12.400). Equally, the Energy Research action plan is already in force. On 15 December 2017, Parliament approved a separate revision of the law on the further development of the power grid (Electricity Grid Strategy).