Sustainable use of energy for a future worth living

We need energy to live, and it is also the key to economic success. For both people and the environment, sustainable energy use is indispensable for a future worth living. With its comprehensive business model, BKW makes a significant contribution to this ideal. The company invests heavily in renewable energies, safely and securely sells and transports electricity via its smart grids, and designs and constructs energy-efficient buildings and infrastructure.

The three business areas of Energy, Grid, and Services make BKW a robust company with outstanding prospects for growth. While Grid will continue to generate stable earnings in the coming years, BKW will be able to make gains in both the Energy and Services businesses.

The three business areas are also internally coherent. They all have to do with energy and are essential to the success of the transition to a sustainable and climate-friendly future. With renewable production, efficient distribution, and economically minded consumption of energy, BKW is ready for the comprehensive energy transition.

Grids form backbone of modern society

As Switzerland’s largest distribution grid operator, BKW is constantly adapting its grids to the new needs of an increasingly decentralized and volatile energy universe. In 2022, the company connected 3,624 PV systems, 1,375 e-charging stations, and 2,282 heat pumps to its distribution grid. In this way, BKW supports its customers on the road to a sustainable future and makes a significant contribution to achieving the goals of the energy strategy in Switzerland while helping to ensure supply security.

As an example of how BKW is helping its customers to reduce their footprint, the following from the 2022 financial year is a world first: Together with Emmental-based Jost AG, BKW Power Grid developed a hybrid replacement power system. This system, which is used among other things for maintenance work on the power grid, can reduce diesel consumption and carbon emissions by 80 percent.

hybrid emergency power system
A world’s first for 2022 is the hybrid emergency power system near Rüderswil (BE), which massively reduces diesel consumption and carbon emissions.

Taking a cross-border view of supply security

In the interconnected European power system, security of supply is increasingly becoming a cross-border issue. The nodes of the power grid are therefore of great importance in border regions. BKW Anlagentechnik of the BKW Infra Services network makes an important contribution to bolstering these nodes: With the expansion of a substation in Kühmoos in southern Germany, the company is ensuring that the power grid in the border triangle region of Germany, France, and Switzerland meets the growing demands of a modern energy-based society. The higher capacity of the grid node means that the German and Swiss transmission grids in particular are being more closely integrated.

Work on the substation began in October 2022 and will continue until 2025. BKW Anlagentechnik renders various services in the area of primary and secondary technology. This contract is very demanding in that it is necessary for the conversion to take place during ongoing operations, resulting in short construction time windows.

With the expansion of the substation in Kühmoos, southern Germany, BKW Anlagentechnik is making a significant contribution to bolstering the power grid in view of the energy transition.

BKW consistently puts its focus on the expansion of renewable energies and has also reached certain milestones in this regard in the 2022 financial year. For example, the company acquired six wind farms in France with an installed capacity of more than 100 megawatts (MW) in March 2022. On this basis, BKW’s production farm of new renewables (wind, PV) has increased to over 800 MW of installed capacity. The company is seeking to expand this portfolio to more than 1000 MW by 2026.

BKW also implemented its “Capital Light” strategy during the financial year, enabling two Swiss pension funds to acquire a 49 percent stake in nine existing wind farms in France, Italy, and Norway. These long-term institutional investors are getting direct impact investing alongside a strong industrial partner. Operation and energy management of the wind farms remain in the hands of BKW. The company can also accelerate the expansion of renewable energies to an even greater extent. This expansion is the purpose of the CHF 100 million Green Bond that BKW issued in April 2022.

The company is also investing heavily in the expansion of renewable energies in Switzerland. Four small hydroelectric plants (Arvigo, Augand, Saas-Grund and Sousbach) are already under construction and will come on line between 2023 and 2025, after which they will produce roughly 55 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity annually. With the Trift project and the raising of the Lake Grimsel Dam, BKW is pushing ahead with two major water storage hydroelectric projects that it would like to become a reality as quickly as possible. The two projects together contain a storage volume of 455 GWh per year and can thus make a significant contribution to Switzerland’s security of supply in the winter months. The new reservoir at Trift will also provide Switzerland with an additional 145 GWh of electricity production.

Together with Bern Airport, BKW is planning what is currently Switzerland’s largest groundmounted solar power plant. Covering some 25 hectares, the plant is expected to produce around 35 GWh of electricity annually from 2026. By the end of 2023, BKW also aims to have identified up to ten sites for alpine solar power plants with a total installed capacity of around 200 MW.

Solar Prize for Solstis SA

However, BKW doesn’t just build its own PV plants. In 2022, the company’s service companies will have installed some 1,000 such systems in private homes and SMEs, thus accompanying these customers into a sustainable future. Solstis SA from the BKW network won a solar industry prize for a solar installation on the roof of a Geneva public transport depot. With some 3,000 individual solar panels, the plant is able to generate the power needed to meet one-third of the electricity requirements of this depot.


The award-winning solar power plant on the roof of a Geneva public transport depot is one of around 1,000 PV systems installed in BKW’s service network in 2022.

Sustainable buildings and infrastructure

Designing buildings and infrastructures sustainably and networking them intelligently is the way to create living spaces for a better future. Human well-being, design, sustainability, and technology all in harmony are what characterize the example of the EDGE ElbSide office building, which is being built at the eastern entrance to Hamburg’s HafenCity and will be inaugurated in May 2023. In the future, the high-rise building with underground parking will offer energy supplier Vattenfall a new home in the Hanseatic city of Hamburg.

The exceptional design of the load-bearing structure of the building was developed by specialists from Assmann Beraten + Planen. The innovative office building is optimized to reduce resource consumption and powered by renewable energies. However, the EDGE ElbSide is more than a sustainable building with state-of-the-art technology; it also ensures the well-being of its users through its perfect interplay with innovative design. Fostering highly focused work is combined with a vibrant sense of community. The integrated installation of infrastructure for e-mobility facilitates environmentally friendly commuting, and smart building technology minimizes the environmental footprint.

Construction site of skyscraper
At the entrance to Hamburg’s HafenCity, state-of-the-art technology reduces the environmental footprint of the EDGE ElbSide office building, which will be inaugurated in May 2023.


Mit smarten Lösungen schaffen wir als BKW Lebensräume von heute und morgen. Dies gelingt uns, weil wir Energie, Gebäude und Infrastruktur als Ganzes betrachten und integral vernetzen. Mit einem ganzheitlichen Ansatz von der Planung über die Installation bis zu Betrieb und Unterhalt bietet das einzigartige Netzwerk der BKW Lösungen aus einer Hand. Wir machen Lebensräume lebenswert.