Focus Energy Forum of the HSG Alumni:
«Will the lights go out this winter?»

Daniela Decurtins, President of the EMBA HSG Alumni

On the very current topic of the developments on the energy market and the reactions of the economy and politics, Daniela Decurtins, Director of the association of Swiss gas industry and President of the EMBA HSG Alumni, and Alexander Keberle, Head of infrastructure, energy and environment and member of the executive board of economiesuisse, shared their insights.

Daniela Decurtins started her talk by giving an overview of the gas distribution and shared three positive developments from the past weeks: almost full storage, a significantly lower dependency on Russian gas (below 10%) and a general relaxation on the price front.

During the further course of her talk (available here for members of the HSG Alumni Energy Club), Decurtins explained various Swiss gas measures and talked about the partly difficult negotiations with neighbour countries and the EU. “Nobody has waited for Switzerland in this», said Decurtins. For this winter, the preparations are generally good, including potential allocations and sovereign solutions. But it must also be clear, that advanced solutions are needed in future. For example, she noted seasonal savings in the summer and the transformation of unused electricity in gas.

Alexander Keberle started his session by looking into the crystal ball and asking the question “Will the lights go out this winter?” – and answering, “probably not”. Like Decurtins, he shared the opinion that Switzerland is prepared for this year but that there is no general guarantee for the upcoming years. Keberle shared with the 60 participants insights on the emergence of electricity prices and showed how much subsidies are paid in other countries (680 million in the EU).

Keberle said that the electricity shortage is a “greater risk for the economy than the pandemic” and explained the complexity of an electricity interruption for certain economy parts. Potentially, such an interruption could last for hours if not days and thus lead to cuts in the supply chains. Therefore, allocations will become important if needed but also individual precautions through emergency generators.

In the following very lively Q&A session, Decurtins and Keberle, were able to answer numerous questions by the participants. With their detailed knowledge and fascinating anecdotes, the web talk created a great benefit.                                                                                                                                                                                        

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