According to SwissInfo, solar panels on one-third of the land at Bern Airport, approximately 60 acres, 25 hectares, to generate up to 35 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity per year.
Around 30% of the electricity will be generated in winter.
In a press release announcing the project, the statement says, “The “BelpmoosSolar” project is proof that the central Plateau region of Switzerland has suitable sites for large-scale, open-air solar plants that can generate large amounts of electricity in a region that is already populated and close to residential and business centres,”
Bern is not the first airport with plans to use its land to generate solar-powered electricity. Vienna Airport already has an open-air facility of a similar size.
Switzerland is committed to achieving net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Solar power is one of the main planks of this strategy. Renewable energies must meet the growing demand for electricity. The authorities want 34 terawatt hours (TWh) of solar-generated electricity a year by 2050 (2.6TWh were generated in 2020).
Installing panels on existing building roofs and facades in Switzerland offers more than enough potential to meet growing needs for solar energy – at least on paper.
They could provide 50TWh and 17TWh, respectively, says the Federal Office of Energy. But the government is encouraging cantons and entrepreneurs to explore other complementary measures like solar panels on highways, in the mountains and in other open spaces.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as President of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA) and is a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)
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