Feed-in tariffs are one the main instruments that was introduced 2009 by the federal government for promoting electricity production from renewable energy sources. Feed-in tariffs are not supposed to cover the entire unit technical cost of electricity from a particular energy source.
Feed-in tariff are available for the following technologies: hydropower (installed capacity between 1 and 10 megawatts; exceptions for plants with less than 1 megawatt installed capacity may apply); photovoltaics (>30 kW); wind energy; geothermal energy; and biomass.
The tariffs for power from renewable sources are based on reference power plants for each technology and output category. The tariff is applicable for 15-20 years (10 years for biomass infrastructure power plants). In view of technological progress and the increasing degree of market maturity of new technologies, the tariff rates are subject to a regular review. Reductions only apply to new production facilities that are put into operation.
The feed-in tariff system expires for new plants that come online on or after 1.1.2024. Small (<30 kW) photovoltaics plants receive investment aids (and no longer a feed-in tariff). There are investment aids for hydropower plants with an installed capacity larger than 10 megawatts. There are also investment aids for biomass-plants, The promotion system is financed by a grid surcharge for renewable energies, which is capped by law at 2.3 Swiss cent/kWh (CHF 1.2 billion Swiss Francs per year). Due to great demand and the limited amount of funds, there is a long waiting list.
Other Measures: Besides the FiT and the investment aids, there are other measures that are financed by the grid surcharge: Hydropower remediation aims at compensating the costs of remediation measures to be implemented by existing hydropower plants to prevent or eliminate the effects of hydropeaking and change of bed load budget or to ensure passability for migrant fish. (Funding: 0.1 Swiss cent/kWh - 60 million Swiss Francs) Tenders for energy efficiency supporting electricity efficiency measures in the industry as well as in private households. (Funding: 5% of the grid surcharge).