Electricity consumption went up by four per cent in 2010 to almost 60 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), the Federal Energy Office has said.
“The main overall drivers of electricity consumption are economic growth and population development,” it said in a statement on Wednesday.
Domestic power plants generated 66.3 billion kWh, or 0.4% less electricity than in 2009, with nuclear power stations producing 3.5 per cent less power than in 2009, despite a record year at the Mühleberg plant.
However, with energy imports at 66.8 billion kWh and exports of 66.3 billion kWh, an excess of imports in electricity was recorded in 2010, as in the years 2005 and 2006, added the office.
Nuclear power accounts for around 40 per cent of electricity in Switzerland and calls have been mounting for the country to opt out of atomic energy. Energy Minister Doris Leuthard has announced a re-examination of safety at plants and a temporary suspension of requests for replacement facilities.
Environmental organisation WWF has criticised the rise in energy use. “The political world is itself to blame,” said the WWF’s Ulrike Saul in a statement. “Efficiency measures – still the first pillar of the government’s energy policy – have until now been just waste paper. This must now change.”