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Wind power in Sweden is finally taking off, but without political targets and firm government guidance, local and regional authorities are finding it difficult to make plans for the future which include wind energy development. This was the main conclusion of Sweden's annual wind power conference held in Gothenburg on November 17-18. The event ended on a note of "cautious optimism" that despite an outlook of continuing falling electricity prices, wind development was now rolling and was not likely to stop.

The caution was introduced by Thomas Korsfeldt from the Swedish energy agency. He said the low price of electricity would continue and that the proposed huge interconnector linking Scandinavia with Poland and Germany would not have any significant impact. Optimism was created by reports from countries all around Sweden that wind development was steaming ahead. The fast tempo of the packed program also gave delegates a lift. Lennart Thornqvist of Lund technical university in Lund commented that it now seems that local communities and regional authorities are more prepared to become engaged in wind development.

The technical program was also action packed, with discourses on research into aerodynamics, acoustics, structural dynamics, electrical systems and wind meteorology. News of a totally new wind map of Gotland, suggesting a very different wind pattern than that known so far, drew much interest. Summing up the sessions, Thornqvist commented that he was "still confused, but on a higher level."

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