Modelling the Swiss Gas Market in a European Context


Natural gas plays an important role in most nations’ energy systems especially with regard to the envisioned transition towards a less carbon intensive energy supply. This raises questions about the future development and security of Europe’s and Switzerland’s gas supply and the role of the restructuring of Switzerland’s gas market in this context. Within this research project we evaluate how the Swiss market may evolve taking the potential European market developments into account. To that aim, we develop numerical models addressing the challenges of the European market development and of the Swiss Entry-Exit design debate.

The results indicate that due to the strong dependency on Russian imports, disruptions during the winter months can lead to load curtailment. Both, the projected network extension (Southern Gas Corridor, Nord Stream 2, and new LNG terminals) and a coordinated strategic storage policy can help to reduce this shortage. However, the capability of the former also depends on the capability of the global gas market to provide flexible gas that can be reallocated towards Europe. The majority of demand curtailment can already by counter by a relatively modest amount of strategic storage (20% to 30%) if they usage during crisis situations is coordination across European countries. The diverse model simulations show that the overall supply security for Switzerland is good and likely to remain high for the next decade.

The results of a Swiss model to investigate the possible consequences of an Entry-Exit system introducing regionally differentiated network charges compared to a system of Swiss-wide uniform fees show rather small impacts on prices and quantities. Consequently, the overall European market development, the coordination and connection between Switzerland and Europe, as well as a general well-regulated network access are more important determinants for the restructuring of the Swiss gas market.

Project Report

Die Studie ist auf der Homepage des BFE abrufbar: Link

Related Publications/Research