Market Switzerland

Record hydro production

With 747 GWh of power from 17 hydro plants in Graubünden, Repower's record in Switzerland in 2014 was impressive. But the picture is much less rosy when you consider the low energy prices that have undermined the profitability of hydropower.

New Tech

As a supplement to its core business, Repower is working to develop its new tech activities: projects related to product, service and business model innovations that will help shape the future of energy. Changes in the energy landscape mean a need for new technologies enabling system integration – the efficient and intelligent interplay of generation, distribution and consumption and the integration of decentralised energy resources with the system – and the development of new, innovative business models.

In 2014 the Swiss Federal Office of Energy included the virtual power plant tiko (formerly BeSmart), developed jointly by Swisscom and Repower, on its list of flagship projects. This label is given to innovative technologies and systems in the context of energy efficiency, renewables, grids and storage that could play a key role in the implementation of the Swiss Federal Council's Energy Strategy 2050. tiko uses communications technology to connect electric heating systems in different households to create a pool, managing the overall load to make control reserve available to balance out fluctuations in the grid. At the end of 2014 Repower tendered for the first ancillary service contracts with Swissgrid. From 2015 larger consumers will also be allowed to join tiko.

On the electric vehicle side, Repower is in the process of setting up a charging infrastructure in Canton Graubünden. The company has taken the Palina 1.0 charging station originally developed for the Italian market (see the section on the Market Italy segment on the following pages), adapted it for Swiss requirements, and installed it at select locations. The second generation, Palina 2.0, is currently being developed along with a wall box. This equipment boasts state-of-the-art technology, efficiency and functionality. Repower is also working hard to formulate a strategy for the general development and positioning of electric transportation.

To optimally manage load in its regional distribution grid, Repower has created a model for flexibly managing sheddable loads. This innovative tool helps balance load, and will reduce the costs of expanding the regional distribution network without jeopardising good security of supply. There is still potential to be exploited in terms of offering tertiary balancing power.

Repower's innovation portfolio in Switzerland currently comprises five project streams covering more than twenty sub-projects.

Developing innovative products, services and business models will become even more important for Repower in the future. The key will be to find forward-looking systems and technologies and innovative business models to increase energy efficiency and thus make a contribution to the energy transition. But this development will need time, and in the short term will not be enough to offset the challenges currently faced in daily business because of massive distortions in the market. So at the political level it is particularly important to make sure that the goals of increased energy efficiency and system integration do not come at the cost of over-regulation, but are the result of developments driven by innovation and free market enterprise.