Sweden

Sweden

Bottlenecks still holding up progress -- Snail's pace

Sweden's wind lobby blames administrative delays and economic uncertainties for a slow down in the country's wind power development. About 26 MW was added to Sweden's wind power capacity in 2000 according to official figures, a drop from last year's 46 MW. But a number of projects have yet to be accounted for in government statistics, including the 10 MW offshore Utgrunden project by American Enron.

About 26 MW was added to Sweden's wind power capacity in 2000 according to official figures, a drop from last year's 46 MW. But a number of projects have yet to be accounted for in government statistics, including the installation of several 1.5 MW units at the end of the year. In particular, the 10 MW offshore Utgrunden project by American Enron, switched on-line at the end of the year, is not included in the year's total.

The country's wind lobby, however, confirms there is a slow down. It blames the hold-up mainly on administrative delays and uncertainties over the future economics of wind power in the country. In Skåne, applications from 1998 are still being processed, reports the Swedish wind lobby. Bottlenecks are expected to continue until there is a clear signal from the government on a national target. It remains unclear when such a target will be set, but the Swedish energy administration is expected to suggest one before summer, shooting for a final goal of around 5-10 TWh a year from wind energy, or about 2000-4000 MW total installed capacity.

Economic prospects are also uncertain, putting off investors. At the start of 2003, the government plans to introduce a system of green credit trading, scrapping the existing wind tariff, which varies from SEK 0.40/kWh to SEK 0.46/kWh. The tariff is made up of a market price of SEK 0.13-0.19/kWh, a price support from the state of SEK 0.09/kWh and a refund of the state electricity tax of SEK 0.18/kWh. A 15% capital investment subsidy of about SEK 0.05/kWh is also included. Nobody yet knows how the new green credit trading system will function.

Most of the new turbines installed last year are scattered throughout the country in small clusters of two to four turbines in the 600-750 kW class and most of the development took place at the end of the year. A deal of interest is focussed on the offshore potential, with planned offshore projects this year including the 86 MW Orestads Vindkraft project in the strait between Sweden and Denmark (Windpower Monthly, January 2001) and a 10 MW project using 2 MW turbines from NEG Micon south of Utgrunden in the Kalmar strait.

Home industry

Sweden's handful of wind turbine manufacturers are still struggling along. Nordic Windpower, which has two 1 MW turbines on-line on Gotland, will erect another one shortly at the same location. In September, the Scan Wind/ABB 3 MW turbine is expected to be installed there, too (Windpower Monthly, July 2000). Furthermore, several arctic projects are expected to be developed this year, although cold weather wind turbine technology is still being developed.

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