The main focus must be on energy security

Federal Council's decision on nuclear power: many questions remain unresolved

Olten, (PresseBox) - Alpiq takes note of the Federal Council's decision. Coupled with the parliamentary motions submitted and the people's initiatives which have been announced, this decision will usher in a political process, lasting many years, to change the constitution and/or existing legislation. During this time a large number of issues regarding ways of ensuring a reliable supply of electricity must be resolved, on the basis of which the Swiss electorate will ultimately be asked to vote on the various options. Until voters have had their say on the future of nuclear power - which is unlikely to be for several years - Alpiq will no longer drive forward plans to build new nuclear power stations.

Alpiq would have preferred Electricity Supply Variant 1, which proposed building two modern nuclear power stations in Switzerland to replace the oldest three nuclear power stations and compensate for the imports from foreign nuclear and fossil fuel power stations which will no longer be available when the current contracts expire. In the long term, this option promises to be the most sustainable in terms of energy security, environmental compatibility and economic viability, and will entail the least regulatory constraints on citizens' freedom. This question is of particular relevance since the scenario underlying the Federal Council's deliberations is predicated on massive regulatory constraints and intervention in the freedom of consumers and the economy. Electricity Supply Variant 1 would, moreover, be the only option to guarantee any reasonable self-sufficiency and avoid any dependencies on subsidies, imports or an expansion of the electricity grid.

Since this is a fundamental issue with a direct impact on all levels of society, it is important that the people ultimately decide on the direction of future energy policy. Thanks to the general licence applications for new nuclear power stations which are still pending and the people's initiatives which have been announced, all energy supply options remain open until voters can have their say. Until then, Alpiq will set aside its plans to build new nuclear power stations. This is likely to last for several years.

As the largest Swiss energy company, Alpiq will continue to make every effort to ensuring a reliable supply of electricity in Switzerland. The sizeable investments which Alpiq has already made in new renewable energies will be stepped up, with the focus on hydro power. The aim is to invest CHF 1 billion in increasing the share of new renewable energy generation by at least a factor of five. In addition, Alpiq will also step up its activities in the field of energy efficiency through the Alpiq Intec Group, with its workforce of more than 3,500.

Alpiq Holding Ltd.

Alpiq Holding Ltd. is the leading energy trader and largest service provider in Switzerland, with a pan-European reach. The Alpiq Group was created in early 2009 as a result of the merger between the two energy pioneers Atel Holding Ltd. and Energie Ouest Suisse SA (EOS). Active in 33 nations, it has subsidiaries in 28 countries, employs more than 11,000 staff, and in 2010 generated consolidated annual revenue of around CHF 14 billion. Alpiq specialises in electricity generation and transmission, sales and trading, as well as energy services, and is responsible for around one-third of Switzerland's electricity supplies.

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