Energy is the basis of almost all human activities. In times of climate change, substituting fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy is paramount. The Alps have traditionally been a major producer of hydroelectricity. They also benefit from strong solar radiation, and their forests are a source of biomass. However, available land in the Alps is scarce, and energy production can have negative impacts on nature and landscape as well as on other human activities such as mountain agriculture. Therefore, a balanced and cautious approach needs to be adopted for developing or upgrading energy production sites in the Alps. Renewable energy production has to go hand in hand with increasing energy savings and efficiency, especially for transport and buildings.
Under their general obligations, the Contracting Parties have committed to taking energy-related measures with the objective “to introduce methods for the production, distribution and use of energy which preserve the countryside and are environmentally compatible, and to promote energy-saving measures” (Article 2, 2k of the Framework Convention).