Swiss voters will have their say this Sunday (May 21st) on the government’s ‘energy strategy 2050’.
Spearheaded by Swiss president and energy minister Doris Leuthard and drawn up partly in reaction to the 2011 nuclear reactor disaster in Fukushima, Japan, the energy strategy 2050 aims to gradually withdraw Switzerland from nuclear power and increase its use of renewable energy sources.
Under the plans no new nuclear power plants will be built in Switzerland and the five that do exist – including the world's oldest operating reactor, Beznau I – will be decommissioned at the end of their technically safe operating life.
The strategy will focus on exploiting hydropower and other renewable resources such as wind and solar power, as well as increasing energy efficiency by offering tax incentives for energy-efficient building works and tightening emissions rules for passenger vehicles.
These measures require changes to the existing energy law and the first set were approved by the Swiss parliament last September.