Sweden to abolish offshore connections costs

SWEDEN: In its aim to become 100% reliant on renewable power by 2040, Sweden's political parties have agreed to end grid connection fees for offshore projects.

Vattenfall's 110MW Lillgrund offshore wind project off of southwest Sweden
Vattenfall's 110MW Lillgrund offshore wind project off of southwest Sweden

A framework agreement between Sweden's main political parties said: "Connection fees to the national grid for offshore wind should be abolished." It was announced as part of a wider energy policy agreement.

Sweden's political parties have also said they would increase interconnection between other markets and improve transmission within its own borders.

The agreement acknowledged the benefit additional interconnectivity has for offshore projects: "Through better interconnection of the electricity networks between the countries around the Baltic Sea, [it] also creates better conditions for the economically efficient development of offshore wind farms."

Swedish state-owned utility and developer Vattenfall welcomed the pledge by Sweden's politicians to commit to 100% renewables by 2040

Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall said: "The sharp increase in renewable energy production needs to be combined with significantly enhanced power transmission between Sweden and neighbouring countries." He called on Sweden's energy commission to work on more details about how it would be achieved.

The agreement also abolished a nuclear capacity tax and other positive nuclear policies, aiding some of Vattenfall's business.

Sweden could add a little over 400MW of new wind capacity in 2016, raising its national fleet to nearly 6.5GW, according to wind energy association Svensk Vindenergi. At the end of 2015, 424MW of onshore capacity was under construction.

Wind provided 10.5% of Sweden's electricity generation in 2015, with hydro (47%) and nuclear (34.3%) remaining the primary energy-generating sources.

No new offshore projects have been commissioned since 2013, and the offshore fleet has fallen from 211MW to 190MW through decommissioning.

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