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Minister defends planned use of gas power

Energy Minister Doris Leuthard has rejected criticism of government plans to replace nuclear energy with gas and water power as well as energy saving measures.

Leuthard said the cabinet’s energy outlook, presented last Wednesday, was in line with the policy on climate change.

It is crucial to reduce the use of fossil energy and promote renewable resources, she said in an interview in Saturday’s edition of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper.

Leuthard came out in favour of curbing the rights of environmental groups to block the construction of power stations.

She also said it would wrong to shut down the existing five nuclear power plants before they have reached the end of their lifespan.

Parliament last year approved a government proposal to opt out of nuclear power by 2034.

Switzerland’s energy needs are covered mainly by hydropower (54 per cent) and nuclear energy (40 per cent), according to official data.


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