Premium price for wind agreed

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The utility on Sweden's main island of Gotland has agreed to pay a guaranteed premium price for all wind generated electricity in its region. Nearly half of the country's more than 80 MW of wind power is installed on Gotland, supplying some 10% of the island's electricity.

The deal, hammered out at the end of June after two months of negotiations, marks a turning point for the Swedish wind market. Until now it has been entirely reliant on government subsidies. Although details of the agreement remain confidential, consumer pressure on state utility Vattenfall for environmentally clean power seems to have played a decisive role in the negotiations between the Gotland utility, GEAB, and the local branch of the Swedish Windpower Association. Vattenfall is a majority owner of GEAB.

The Swedish Windpower Association is now negotiating with other large utilities for a similar deal for wind power on the mainland. Vattenfall is not involved in these talks to avoid any chance of it gaining a monopoly on wind generated electricity. Once premium price payments for wind are agreed with large utilities and distributors, state subsidies will no longer be a prerequisite for Sweden's wind power market.

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