European Offshore 2020: Sweden - Above and beyond Overall achiever

Sweden has met its renewables and offshore targets, but growth goes on, says Sara Knight.

E.on's 48MW Karehamn offshore wind project in the Swedish Baltic Sea was fully commissioned in July 2013, marking a success for the sector following the disappointing complete outage of the 110MW Lillgrund offshore wind farm for several weeks due to a transmission cable fault in May 2013.

Sweden lacks verve in the offshore wind sector, having already reached its overall renewables target for 2020 of 49% renewables in electricity supply by 2012. Its National Renewable Energy Action Plan indicative target for offshore wind in 2020 is just 182MW, which it has already exceeded.

Offshore expansion

Nevertheless, developers are pushing hard to get projects under way. German energy company E.on is at loggerheads with transmission system operator Svenska Kraftnat over whether its planned 700MW Sodra Midsjobanken offshore project can be directly connected to the 700MW Nordbalt transmission interconnector, due to link Sweden with Lithuania from 2016. This would save E.on costs, but the interconnector is designed for electricity trading purposes and the offshore wind farm may be required to have its own connection to the onshore network.

Other projects in the pipeline include the major 2.5GW Blekinge project under development by Eolus Vind (55%), Vingkraft (35%), and VindIn (10%); a proposed repowering of the five-turbine 2.75MW Bockstigen project that went online in 1997, and WPD Offshore's 265MW Storgrundet and 1.1GW Finngrunden projects.

Current offshore capacity: 208MW

NREAP 2020 aim: 182MW

Realistic forecast: 1GW

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