Indicator Economy and Consumption

Energy footprint

Energy use is linked to environmental pollution such as air pollution and climate warming. That is why it is important to reduce energy consumption. In addition, renewable energies should make up the highest possible share of the energy mix, since they generally have a lesser environmental impact than fossil energies, such as petroleum, gas, and coal, and lower risks than nuclear power.

The energy footprint shows the extent to which primary energy is consumed domestically and abroad due to Swiss consumption. It considers energy consumption resulting from the production of imported goods abroad, but not the consumption that arises in the domestic production of export goods. This distinguishes the footprint perspective from the prevalent perspective, which considers only the energy that is consumed domestically (see the energy consumption indicator).

Assessment of the state
poor poor
Assessment of the trend
unsatisfactory unsatisfactory
Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2015: 1347.72090796309 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2015: 6667.58730531531 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2014: 1294.86880610421 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2014: 6694.58957346126 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2013: 1332.64463580041 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2013: 7179.78393664921 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2012: 1245.53303045712 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2012: 7165.72308514652 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2011: 1142.11679068091 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2011: 7407.70287714687 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2010: 1119.79533202646 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2010: 7524.29620778634 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2009: 981.807193382843 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2009: 7447.4023517558 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2008: 1047.47303609389 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2008: 7814.48329559274 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2007: 998.465743064556 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2007: 7875.91292852085 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2006: 947.432198687227 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2006: 8215.6111148409 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2005: 950.977263460038 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2005: 8099.35528084522 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2004: 883.54195245707 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2004: 8198.85077985648 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2003: 878.529031485118 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2003: 8149.78892562763 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2002: 786.343297033413 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2002: 8120.40805194681 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2001: 725.807828093765 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2001: 8394.32980753722 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 2000: 807.340594940801 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 2000: 8067.24517721176 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 1999: 919.259860555793 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 1999: 7822.96955928552 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 1998: 841.473905590975 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 1998: 7982.09630604214 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 1997: 851.509741270699 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 1997: 7523.01731500537 Primary energy requirement per capita, renewable 1996: 828.001454965731 Primary energy requirement per capita, non-renewable 1996: 7835.48340192764

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FOEN, Swiss Federal Statistical Office (BFS): STATPOP/ESPOP, GDP
Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2015: 121.712117046149 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2014: 121.758792332144 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2013: 115.125446285879 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2012: 115.125969649975 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2011: 113.552059926316 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2010: 111.431595886893 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2009: 111.689152182972 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2008: 107.482136084014 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2007: 108.166995112693 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2006: 105.373005113412 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2005: 105.090281714979 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2004: 104.492038182371 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2003: 101.512839388682 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2002: 102.645359583598 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2001: 102.952877432594 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 2000: 104.809052806623 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 1999: 103.495227635882 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 1998: 103.611585798814 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 1997: 105.250442459761 Changes in consumption-related energy efficiency 1996: 100

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FOEN, FSO: STATPOP/ESPOP, GDP
Comment

Between 1996 and 2015, the energy footprint per capita decreased by just over 7% to a continuous power rating of approximately 8,000 watts per capita. However, since the population grew by 17% during this period, the energy footprint per capita increased by 8% overall.

The energy footprint consists mainly of non-renewable energies and is far in excess of a level that would be in line with the planetary boundaries (extrapolated to the world's population). According to the 2000-Watt Society, the target for the energy footprint by 2100 is 2,000 watts and a non-renewable share of 500 watts per capita. The reduction achieved to date will definitely not suffice to reach this target. Furthermore, this target is cautious compared to the October 2018 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2018). For that reason, the state is assessed as negative and the trend as unsatisfactory.

Between 1996 and 2016, the share of renewable energies rose slightly from 10% to 17%. This means that around 83% of the energy footprint still comes from non-renewable sources. Primary energy from domestic sources can be allocated exclusively to renewable sources as neither fossil energy carriers (petroleum, natural gas, coal etc.) nor uranium are extracted in Switzerland.

Since the consumption of goods and services is linked to energy consumption, the energy footprint could be expected to rise similar to final demand. This is however not the case: While energy consumption has increased by 8%, Swiss final demand has increased to a much greater extent in the same period, i.e. by 32%. Consequently, prosperity and energy consumption have been decoupled to some degree. In other words, the so-called consumption-based energy efficiency has improved. This may have varying causes, such as more energy efficient technologies or an increasing market share of environmentally-friendlier goods and services.

International comparison

Although information on the primary energy consumption of many countries is certainly available, it is not provided as a footprint, i.e. from the consumption perspective. This energy footprint is the first of its kind at the national level. For that reason, an international comparison is not possible at this time.

Method

When modelling the energy footprint, the value chain of all consumed goods and services up to final consumption is taken into consideration. All production steps are included in it, i.e. the energy required to extract, produce, transport and dispose of goods. Furthermore, the primary energy required in these steps is also shown.

Primary energy is defined as energy that is stored directly in naturally occurring primary energy carriers. These include renewable energy carriers such as sun, wind, geothermal energy, watercourses and reservoir water as well as non-renewable sources such as petroleum, natural gas, coal and uranium. In general, primary energy cannot be used directly to heat, run motors, etc. In other words, primary energy carriers must be further processed into electricity, diesel, petrol, etc. The resulting energy losses are also taken into consideration.

Official statistics on emissions and material consumption serve as the basis for calculating domestic energy consumption.

To determine the consumption generated by imports and exports, the quantity of goods and services were linked using life cycle assessment data.

 
Last updated on: 19.02.2019

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