Separate deregulation bill in Sweden

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A separate bill on its way through parliament -- on deregulation of the Swedish electricity market -- could bring about even better conditions and almost double the price paid for wind power, bringing it closer to the levels in Denmark and other European countries. The Swedish wind power association SVIF has argued for years that the price paid for wind should be connected to the price consumers pay for electricity, as in Denmark and Germany. This demand is now a clause in the new bill. To protect the interests of small independent producers, utilities would be obliged to buy power from units of less than 1.5 MW -- at the same price paid by end users for their power, minus a deduction of reasonable costs for administration. The purchase price will probably be about 80-90% of the consumer price, although exact interpretation of the new law would be up to energy agency Nutek. If the deregulation bill becomes law it could start a boom of wind projects, with developers anxious to get new turbines on line before July 1, 1996, when Sweden's 35% investment subsidy expires. Whether deregulation of the Swedish electricity market will go ahead, though, remains an open question. If the Social Democrats win this autumn's general election, they will probably postpone the bill, along with the price hike for wind.

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