White Paper on Swiss Multi Level Energy Governance

Swiss Energy Governance in between the Federal, Cantonal, and Municipal Level: Centralization, Decentralization, or Coordination?

The IPW-HSG has coordinated a White Paper that presents findings from the research consortium SCCER CREST on Swiss multi-level energy governance to decision-makers and the interested public.



Governance competences in Swiss energy policy are distributed across the federal level, cantons, and municipalities. An appropriate division of tasks among these governance levels can support the transition to a more sustainable energy system. We examine to what extent present multi-level governance already fulfills this precondition for key issues in electricity, mobility, and heating policy, and where there is potential for improvement.


Our research suggests that multiple issues in Swiss energy policy require a stronger coordination among the federal, cantonal, and municipal levels. Coordination forums can help to develop systematic support strategies and to address conflicts emerging in between as well as on the individual governance levels. Moreover, we recommend that the federal level further strengthens its guidance in relation to energy and climate policy targets. The cantons should make larger efforts to harmonize their legal frameworks in the future. The municipalities should be involved in the formulation of policy measures that are implemented by them or that raise local concerns.


January 2018 to February 2019


Project in the framework of SCCER CREST, supported by Innosuisse