Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Wallace officials are already preparing for a ski lift revolt

Due to anticipated winter power outages, ski areas may be closed. That’s out of the question for Wallace officials. The debate is likely to get heated.


in short needed

  • Switzerland is preparing for a winter emergency due to a power outage.
  • There is a debate going on as to whose power should be switched off first and where.
  • Wallace officials do not agree that it could affect ski areas.

In early summer, politicians discussed possible rationing of electricity in the event of a winter power shortage. The situation is well known: in an emergency, the Federal Office for Agricultural Supplies (BWL) writes that the grid may actually go off. Prior to this, however, the Federal Council could order consumption restrictions or quotas.

It is still not clear which areas or regions will be affected. But there is already debate about which services or offers the population can live well without.

For example, ski lifts were repeatedly in the center of discussion. A resolution by GLP National Councilor Barbara Schaffner (ZH) proposes to close these large consumers. Operators of lifts can give this power capacity to the federal government and be compensated. The proposal came through the National Council.

“unforgivable mistake”

In Wallace, heads turn red at the mention of a ski resort stop. Christophe Darbelle, a government councilor in “NZZ”, says: “It is not a question of accepting measures that would unilaterally affect the economic sector.”

The state government would never dare to “destroy tourism and the entire alpine economy”, Darbelle said. That would be an “unforgivable mistake”.

The hill cantonment is dependent on winter tourism. According to the company “Wallis Promotion”, tourism creates 24,100 jobs. About a fifth of the workforce works in tourism, with about a third in Upper Wallace.

Should winter tourism be stopped due to power crisis?

No wonder Darbelle doesn’t want to make any concessions. Wallace Counselor of States Beat Rider (middle) sees it that way. “It is not politically appropriate to economically undermine the canton, which produces a third of the national electricity,” he told NZZ. In his opinion, one should care more about increasing production and less about austerity appeal.

But Wallace State Counselor and Economic Director Darbelle is doing exactly that: By heating all homes less, turning off lights and turning off appliances on stand-by altogether, everyone can save ten percent of energy.

More on the topic:

Christophe Darbelle Services National Council of States Energy GLP NZZ Bundesrat

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