Switzerland plans to deploy photovoltaic systems along highways and railways

At a meeting on 17 August, the Swiss Federal Council revised the National Road Regulations. The regulation allows the deployment of renewable energy generation facilities along Swiss motorways. Its revised text will take effect on October 1.

The announcement follows clarifications in response to a parliamentary inquiry by Bruno Storni, a member of the Swiss Federal Parliament’s National Chamber, in 2020. And the Swiss government is very concerned about the power generation potential of installing photovoltaic systems along highways and railways.

According to the Swiss government, the annual power generation potential along motorways and railways is 101GWh, with 46GWh along the railway and 55GWh along the motorway. The Swiss Federal Road Office (FEDRO) has started to install some photovoltaic systems for its own electricity consumption, especially near tunnels and maintenance centres.

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Electricity generated by photovoltaic systems installed in other suitable areas, such as noise barriers or rest areas, will be provided free of charge to third parties. The new regulations also apply to the installation of other renewable energy generation facilities, such as wind power facilities or geothermal energy facilities.

The Swiss Federal Road Office (FEDRO) may launch an application by the end of this year to reserve some areas for the installation of photovoltaic systems. Interested parties can bid, and once the bid is awarded, they will be given a precise timetable to install the PV system.

One of the conditions for the installation of renewable energy facilities in the space provided by the Swiss Federal Road Office (FEDRO) is that third parties themselves ensure electricity sales. Further details will be announced in the tender announcement.

Turkey, currently the largest solar panel manufacturer in Europe and the fourth largest in the world, aims to be in the top three globally next year.

While the manufacturing industry is developing rapidly, other aspects of the local photovoltaic industry have also ushered in many changes.

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