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    Translation: The concept indicates the great potential of photovoltaic systems

    November 16, 2022 -


      MIL OSI translation. Region: Germany/Germany

      Source: Swiss Kanton Nidwalden News in German16. November 2022The Nidwalden government council has submitted a protection and use concept for electricity generation from renewable energies for consultation. The concept shows where areas can be set aside for plants and where landscapes and watercourses should be preserved undiminished. On the basis of the concept, the cantonal structure plan is then to be adjusted. To this end, the cantonal government, under the leadership of the Department of Agriculture and the Environment, has had a protection and utilization concept drawn up for generating energy from water, wind and solar power in its own canton. «Interest in the use of renewable energies is constantly increasing and is also an effect of the national energy strategy 2050. At the same time, demands on the environment have increased. Society does not want the landscape to be spoiled by excessive energy production facilities,” explains Agriculture and Environment Director Joe Christen. The different demands need to be coordinated and taken into account appropriately, for which purpose the protection and use concept specifies the appropriate thrusts. The final conclusions of the concept, which is now subject to external consultation until February 28, 2023, are to be included in the canton's structure plan. The protection and use concept shows that there is great potential in the canton of Nidwalden, above all in the further expansion of photovoltaics . In the future, it will be possible to cover the entire electricity requirement of currently around 260 gigawatt hours (GWh) with in-house production. “However, it is a major challenge to ensure sufficient power supply in winter. Seasonal storage on the scale required is currently not realistic with the technologies available,” emphasizes Landammann Joe Christen. Hydroelectric power has already been largely exhausted and the options for using wind efficiently are rather limited in Nidwalden. The fact that electricity is imported, especially in the winter months, makes us dependent on other countries. "The impending power shortage shows that we need a significant and rapid expansion of renewable energy production," says Joe Christen, adding: "However, this must not be done at the expense of the environment." Photovoltaic systems are most efficient at high altitudes Locations outside and inside the construction zone are considered, but not on the roofs of private or public buildings, as these have already been or are being clarified in other studies. Areas suitable for the installation of photovoltaic systems were identified for the entire canton. The conclusion: The use of photovoltaics in open spaces only makes sense at locations at high altitudes that have significantly better sunshine in the winter half-year compared to areas in the valley floor such as on noise protection walls, on motorway roofs, on sewage treatment plants or on parking lots. Biotope protection, landscape protection, visibility and glare as well as the needs of agriculture and alpine farming were included in the evaluation of the protection criteria. Despite the lower potential, the concept nevertheless recommends further clarifications for the use of wind and hydropower in the sense of supplementary electricity production to do. For example, a feasibility study could be drawn up for wind power sites that have been eliminated. In the case of hydropower, the next step is to clarify whether the storage potential can be expanded. A pure expansion of run-of-river power on previously unused bodies of water, on the other hand, is only considered to be of limited use. This is primarily justified by the fact that most of the production occurs in the summer months, when there is already an oversupply of electricity, and that the negative ecological effects are usually considerable. The protection and use concept was developed in a broadly supported project group with representatives of the authorities for forest and energy, for the environment, for spatial development and for natural hazards, as well as the specialist agency for nature and landscape protection, the department for hunting and fishing and with the involvement of the Nidwalden power station. The team received technical support from Grimsel Hydro's ecology department. After the consultation, the concept will be revised and approved by the government council. This is planned for mid-2023.

      EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.

      MIL Translation OSI


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