In the first quarter of 2024, several new investment decisions were made and wind turbine orders were placed in Sweden. However, there are concerns that the pace of government work is not sufficient to speed up and streamline the permitting process for both onshore and offshore wind power. This is indicated by the latest data and forecasts from the Swedish Wind Energy Association (Svensk Vinenergi) on wind energy development. The industry stresses that it is prepared to meet the increased demand for electricity, forecasting up to 106 GW of offshore wind power and 17 GW of onshore wind power.

Svensk Vindenergi’s latest data on wind power expansion in Sweden provides positive news: among other things, five investment decisions for new wind power plants were made in the first quarter of the year. A total of 222 MW of new turbines were ordered.

The investment decisions relate to projects that have received all permits. As for the approval of new projects, the outlook is less optimistic. As the Association points out – the pace of reform for more predictable and shorter permitting processes must increase if Sweden is to meet electrification targets by 2030 and climate goals by 2045.

Svensk Vindenergi’s compilation of wind power projects in the permitting process shows that the industry is poised to meet increased electricity demand, projecting 106 GW of offshore wind and 17 GW of onshore wind, but only 2 GW and 4 GW, respectively, have been approved to date.

– It is encouraging to see that investment decisions continue to be made for new wind power plants in Sweden, but we see that the expansion of electricity production in the coming years may lose momentum and magnitude. If this happens, the obvious risk is that it will not be possible to meet the growing industrial demand for electricity over the next 10 years. There is a serious concern that not enough new permits for both onshore and offshore wind power are going through the Swedish permitting process fast enough – says Erik Almqvist, responsible for power grids and electricity markets in the Swedish Wind Energy Association.

Appropriate proposals and policy initiatives are needed to shorten the permitting process. Changes to the rules that have already been explored regarding municipal veto and compensation for local residents – coupled with clear state financial incentives for municipalities that contribute to electrification – must be implemented quickly. The government must make positive decisions on offshore wind farms that are pending. Without clear policy signals on the importance of increasing the pace of wind power expansion, there is a risk that Sweden will become unattractive to investors.

The Swedish Wind Energy Association publishes quarterly statistics and forecasts on wind energy development in Sweden. The statistics are based on data from turbine suppliers and other market participants. The short-term forecast is based on investment decisions and evaluation of projects that can be implemented, as well as new projects that are in the authorization process.

Wind turbines with a total capacity of 222 MW were ordered in the first quarter of 2024. Svensk Vindenergi’s short-term forecast shows that wind energy will reach a total installed capacity of 19,930 MW by the end of 2026.

Source: Svensk Vindenergi