Lots of activity onshore and offshore in Sweden

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Total installed wind capacity in Sweden was increased by 45 MW to 167 MW in 1998 with the installation of around 75 new turbines. The capacity boost is an annual record for the Swedish market, which looks set for a term of steady growth. Two-thirds of the sum assigned for state subsidies of 15% of the capital cost of wind plant, SEK 300 million, has been allocated under the current program.

Several large projects (for Sweden) were realised during the year. On the large island of Öland in east Sweden, an 8 MW wind farm of 13 Wind World 600 kW turbines was installed at Kastlosa in February, and on northern Öland a 3 MW wind farm of five Bonus 600 kW turbines was installed at Boda. Another large wind farm, of ten Vestas 660 kW turbines, was inaugurated in September by the local utility Falkenberg Energi. The plant is located at the junction of Europe's main E6 highway outside the town. Most of the remaining turbines installed in during 1998 were either single units or small groups of two to three turbines located in the countryside in southern Sweden. Many of them are owned by farmers.

A new development, however, is the gradual growth of the market northwards. Several wind turbines have recently come on line along the edge of the Baltic Sea, where the sparsely populated and very long coast has an immense potential. Moreover, the first projects in the fells have also been realised, one at Rodovalen with turbines from three different manufacturers (Windpower Monthly, December 1998) and another next to a hydropower dam at Suorva, close to the border to Norway.

Books hold 600 MW

Prospects for 1999 look good, with expectations on all fronts that wind power in Sweden will really take-off. So far planning authorities have given permission for 97 MW, most of which will be installed during the year. Meantime, local and regional authorities have applications for another 290 MW to process, while wind developers have projects for a combined capacity of 205 MW in the pipeline. Applications for these projects will be submitted as planning work is completed. The grand total of pending wind power development is 600 MW, of which about 100 MW are offshore projects. At least half of this is likely to be realised within the next two to three years.

In 1997 wind power in Sweden produced 200 GWh, increasing to 300 GWh in 1998, a 45% increase in one year. The SEK 300 million earmarked for subsidies was intended to support 370 MW of wind power development up until 2002, raising output to 700 GWh. But that target will be reached well ahead of schedule.

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