Energy use slightly higher in 2023

by | 20 Jun 2024 | Energy

In 2023 Switzerland’s final energy consumption increased by 0.3% year-on-year to 767,450 terajoules (TJ). The main reason for this is the ongoing recovery in air traffic following the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The recovery in air traffic following the COVID-19 pandemic led to a further sharp increase in sales of aviation fuels in 2023. The number of heating degree days, an important indicator of energy consumption for heating purposes, increased by 1.8% year-on-year. However, the effect of the cooler weather on energy consumption for heating purposes was more than compensated for by energy-saving measures, efficiency improvements and substitution effects.

Other factors that determine the long-term growth trend in energy consumption also increased in 2023: the permanent resident population (+1.3%), gross domestic product (+0.7%), the motor vehicle stock (+1.2%) and the housing stock (increase; no detailed figures yet available). The annual retrospective analyses will provide further information on the factors influencing developments in energy consumption (publication in October 2024).

Increase in fuel consumption

Aviation fuel sales increased by 19% year-on-year (2022: 76.1%), but were still below 2019 levels. Petrol and diesel consumption rose by 0.3% overall in 2023 (petrol: +3.4%, diesel: -2.1%) but also remained below 2019 levels. Fossil fuels accounted for about one third (35%) of total final energy consumption.

There was once again a year-on-year rise in the consumption of biogenic fuels (+5.2%). Their share of total petrol and diesel sales also increased slightly, to 3.6% (2022: 3.4%).

Less natural gas, electricity and heating oil consumed

Despite the slightly cooler weather, the consumption of conventional energy sources for heating purposes fell in 2023: consumption of natural gas decreased by 7% and that of extra-light heating oil by 3% compared to the previous year. Electricity consumption also decreased (-1.7%) (see SFOE press release of 18 April 2024). These three energy sources account for approximately half of final energy consumption (2023: 49.6%).

Energy generation from industrial waste decreased by 2.6%, while use of coal was down by 21.1%. By contrast, consumption of petroleum coke increased by 4.1%. Sales of heavy fuel oil increased slightly, from virtually non-existent in the last two years. The share of these three energy sources in total final energy consumption is very low (<1%).

Increase in consumption of renewable energies

Renewable energy sources are increasingly being used instead of fossil fuels for heating. For example, consumption of energy wood increased by 2.7%. The use of ambient heat with heat pumps was also above the previous year’s figure (+9.6%), as was the consumption of heat generated by district heating (+4.4%). In contrast, the consumption of solar heat fell slightly (-0.8%). In 2023, these energy sources made up 11.8% of total final energy consumption (energy wood: 5.6%, ambient heat: 3%, district heating: 2.9%, solar heat: 0.3%).

The direct use of biogas rose by 3.2%. Also considering the biogas (which is statistically accounted for under gas) fed into the natural gas grid, there was a 3.5% increase in biogas consumption. The share of biogas fed into the grid was 1.4% of total gas consumption.

The Swiss Overall Energy Statistics 2023 will be available online from the second half of July 2024 and in printed form at the beginning of August.

Tag: energy