Swedish project application surge threatens oversupply

SWEDEN: The state-owned operator of Sweden's electricity grid, Svenska Kraftnät has warned a rapid growth in the number of proposed wind farms in Sweden threatens to produce a significant over-supply in electricity.

Publishing an analysis of the challenges it faces through 2025, Svenska Kraftnät has emphasised the scale of new planned wind farms seeking grid connections. A recent surge in wind farm proposals has been stimulated by the introduction of a green certificate scheme across Norway and Sweden.

Applications for 20GW in new wind capacity have been received by Svenska Kraftnät thus far, with more expected. "This is twice the entire production of Sweden’s nuclear power industry and the equivalent of almost 75% of the country’s maximum power requirements," states the report.

Svenska Kraftnät estimates that if all the new wind capacity being planned were to come online, wind energy would alone deliver 140% of Sweden's total electricity demand.

Clearly, pressure is mounting on Swedish regulators to clarify how they will decide which projects are granted green certificates, which can then be sold by wind project owners to energy supply companies. There are also concerns as to how this might affect the country's fledgling offshore sector.

Lillgrund offshore wind farm is owned by Vattenfall, whose offshore wind investments are currently focused on UK and German projects

There are fears that unless the Swedish government chooses to incentivise the construction of new offshore wind capacity, the majority of offshore projects that have been granted development concessions and have successfully navigated some of the permitting process, risk being abandoned.

Sweden currently boasts just 160MW of offshore wind capacity. The country's largest energy company, Vattenfall, is a significant investor in UK and German offshore wind projects  but at home is focusing investment on nuclear.

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