Wind power has been the fastest growing source of renewable energy around the world in recent years, and its capacity installed is also gradually expanding in Sweden. Since 2000, Swedish production has increased from 0.5 TWh to 7.1 TWh; this represents an increase of 14.2-fold. However, the combination of wind power’s rising market share with its fluctuating production levels places heavy demands on the electricity supply grid, which must be strengthened and expanded.
In Sweden, a comprehensive energy policy mix exists, with tradable green certificates as the key mechanism. This system creates both an incentive to invest in the most cost-effective solutions and uncertainty for investment decisions due to variable prices.
Swedish use of renewable energy sources for the generation of electricity pol- icy is composed of the following mechanisms:
• Tradable green certificates were introduced in 2003. The Renewable Energy with Green Certificates Bill that came into force on January 1, 2007, shifts the quota obligation from electricity users to electricity suppliers;
• The environmental premium tariff for wind power is a transitory measure and was progressively phased out by 2009 for onshore wind.
The use of new renewable energy sources for the generation of electricity target from the EU directive for Sweden is 60 % of gross electricity consumption by 2010.24 The Swedish parliament decided to aim for an increase in the renewable of 10 TWh between 2002 and 2010, which corresponds to a renewable energy’s share of around 51 % in 2010. This deviates from the target originally set by the EU directive. In June 2006, the Swedish target was amended to increase the use of new renewable energy sources for the generation of electricity by 17 TWh from 2002 to 2016.
The Swedish parliament has decided on a national planning framework for wind power that corresponds to 30 TWh by 2020, of which 20 TWh will be on land and 10 TWh will be offshore. Besides electricity certificate system, wind power has additional support systems (Regeringskansliet 2010). Since 2007 municipalities, county administrative board, regional autonomous bodies, and municipal cooperative bodies have been able to apply for aid for planning initiatives for wind power. The system aims to provide resources for spatial planning in order to create the conditions for further expansion of wind power. Under normal circumstances, aid is provided at 50 % of the total cost of the planning initiative.
The market introduction of wind power is supported by wind pilot aid. Aid is provided for pilot projects in order to reduce the costs of establishing new wind power plants and to increase knowledge of the effects of establishment in certain environments. Aid is provided for technology development, market introduction, and environmental impact studies.
It is important to highlight that Sweden has the highest renewable target of any EU member state, set at 49 %, up from 39.8 % in 2005. The Swedish NREAP, furthermore, raises the country’s renewable ambitions to 50.2 % renewable in final energy consumption by 63 % renewable in electricity consumption.
With a forecast cumulative wind power capacity of just over 4.5 GW in 2020, wind should cover 8.1 % of final electricity consumption. It is important to stress that at the end of 2013 a total of 4,547 MW of wind power capacity was installed in the country (see Table 5.31); this represents an increase of around 19 % with respect to 2012 and 99 % of the target established in 2020. Onshore build-out is forecast as being stable at just under 260 MW net a year. With no offshore-specific support mechanism foreseen in the action plan, little increase in offshore capac- ity is forecast. In fact, the Swedish NREAP indicates that in 2010 there will be 76 MW of offshore wind capacity, growing between 10 MW and 11 MW net per year up to 2020 to reach a cumulative capacity of 182 MW.
According to EWEA information, at the end of 2010, there were already 164 MW of offshore wind capacity in five wind farms: Bockstigen, Utgrunden 1, Yttre Stengrund, Lillgrund, and Gässlingegrund (an inland lake). Moreover, the projected build-out rate of 10–11 MW per year seems unlikely consider- ing the average size of offshore wind projects. Overall, EWEA’s scenario puts wind capacity in Sweden between 6 and 8 GW onshore in 2020, with a further 3 GW offshore. The major increase registered in the past seven years was in 2009
(46.3 %). In 2013, in the country, a total of 882 wind farms have been established.
Generation of Electricity Using Wind Energy
In 2013, electricity generated from wind increased by nearly 30 % compared to 2012, according to statistics published by the trade association Swedish Energy. Altogether, wind farms now produce more power than a single large Swedish nuclear power reactor generates per year. However, the country will build an estimated 500 MW of wind power capacity in 2013, according to the Swedish Wind Energy Association.25 The capacity growth would be the least in several years, because investors are concerned for the reduction of government subsidizes to the wind sector and are waiting to what is going to happen in the future. They decide to see rather than build new wind farms. Investors have obtained permits for a total of 3,800 MW of new wind power, while licensing is underway for an additional 9.000 MW, all of which could become operational before 2016, if the government makes sure the projects become viable to build.
An EU directive from 2009 requires all member states to increase the proportion of renewable energy production in gross final energy consumption so that the bloc reaches an overall 20 % share by 2020. The target for Sweden is 49 %, com- pared with a 39.8 % share in 2005.
The evolution of the generation of electricity using wind energy in Sweden during the period 2008–2012 is shown in Fig. 5.46.
According to Fig. 5.46, the generation of electricity in Sweden using wind power during the period 2008–2012 increased 3.6-fold. Swedish wind power is still a very young and rapidly growing market. Installed capacity has grown sig- nificantly in the past four years, and a continued high pace of growth is expected during the coming years.