Security of supply in electricity: an integrated approach

Larsen E. R., Van Ackere A., Maggi R., 2012-2016 – Swiss National Science Foundation (grants CR12I1_140740 and CR12I1_ 159265)

The combination of many countries deciding to pull out of nuclear energy with increased attention to environmental issues results in a major challenge for Europe in general, and Switzerland in particular: how to provide an increasing amount of "green electricity", in the right place, at the right time, at an affordable price. Given the delays involved in building new plants and improving the grid, the 30 to 40 year horizon to phase out nuclear plants may give a false sense of security. Early attention to these issues is essential to avoid being forced into short term, undesirable emergency measures at the expense of a coherent long-term strategy.

The project aimed at integrating consumers’ willingness to pay for both security of supply and green energy in a conceptual model, which incorporates the key components of both security of supply and environmental issues. The contribution of the Institute for Economic Research consisted in an assessment of the residential consumers’ willingness to pay for a secure and green electricity supply, while accounting for the demographic, psychological and behavioural drivers that could have an impact thereon.