Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

***Wind power: Swedes just can't get enough of it.

by someone Fri Aug 11th, 2006 at 04:57:25 AM EST

Wind power in Swedish news. As part of the Swedish effort to eliminate the use of fossil fuels in Sweden, laws have been passed to promote renewable energy. This is leading to an increase in investments in wind power, and some problems for manufacturers to meet demand for new turbines. Investments are being made in large capacity wind parks by the large energy corporations, and a small electricity cooperative is proving popular with consumers.

From the front page - whataboutbob


From an article today in Dagens Nyheter:


Wind power demand exceeds supply.
(in Swedish, my translation below)

Swedish wind power is taking off. Many electricity consumers are in line to buy shares in wind power and the large energy companies are investing billions [of Swedish Kroner] at a rate where manufacturers of wind equipment can't meet demand.

The record high electricity price in Sweden this summer has caused national debate. According to Per Ribbing, board member in the economic cooperative organisation Sveriges Vindkraftkooperativ, the best way to combat the rising electricity prices is to buy shares in wind generation.

"We are completely independent from the electricity market and the large electricity  corporations. Our members own shares in the wind turbines and buy the electricity at production costs, at the same time as they help reducing global warming." Says Per Ribbing.

Right now 500 people are in line to buy shares in Sveriges Vindkraftkooperativ, and the three turbines owned by the organisations are not enough. A fourth turbine is planned.

"We could build three turbines right now, if only we had somewhere to build."

Wind power is also on the march amongst the large corporations. Vattenfall is building 48 turbines in Lillegrund, and an enormous wind park is planned in the Baltic Sea south of Trelleborg of between 100 and 150 turbines with a production capacity of 1.6 TWh/year
...
But manufacturers of wind turbines have not been able to increase production to meet demand.

And from a July 28 article in the same paper:


Expansion of wind power could be delayed several years.(In Swedish, my translation below)
 In ten years electricity from wind power should increase tenfold. The [Swedish] government has decided that. But full order books at the turbine manufacturers and slow permit processes risk delaying the planned expansion.
...
Turbines and towers are lacking, delivery times are one to two years.
...
It took eight years the wind farm in Lillgrund to get final approval. To speed up the process the government appointed four wind power coordinators this spring.
...
"We hope the government is looking over the approval process. Today pretty much anyone who could possibly see one of the turbines could appeal the decisions. This causes the projects to be delayed several years." [says Gunnar Fredriksson, CEO of Vindkraftleverantörerna i Sverige (The wind power deliverers of Sweden), an organisation for wind power producing entities]

Sveriges Vindkraftkooperativ (page in Swedish only) sells shares for 5000SEK (544 Euro), which entitles the holder to 1000kWh delivery per year. The customer would have to sign a contract of delivery with a local electricity distributer, Falkenberg Energi AB, who delivers electricity to 13000 customers. The 500 customers in line for the cooperative are thus all local and it seems such cooperative schemes could be successful in other localities as well. The current electricity price for share holders is 0.57 SEK/kWh (0.062Euro). E.ON has its current electricity price in Sweden at 0.969 SEK/kWh (0.106 Euro). (Prices include all taxes and green energy tax bonuses)

And as a bonus, electricity prices form E.ON in Sweden since 1996:


Display:
Cool. Thanks.
If my family in the old country just lived a bit closer to the coast I'd be lining up ...
Worth watching.

(Who will make a "windfall" pun?)


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Tue Aug 8th, 2006 at 11:33:33 AM EST
Course, being 5 minutes from China syndrome a week ago has absolutely nothing to do with this enthusiasm. {/cynicism}

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Aug 8th, 2006 at 11:35:56 AM EST
Good find!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Aug 9th, 2006 at 04:24:35 AM EST
But manufacturers of wind turbines have not been able to increase production to meet demand.

This sounds fishy, to say the least. The Swedish boom is dwarfed by previous booms in Germany, Spain or the USA. Especially the latter, where the problems with PTC (production tax credit), i.e. that Congress would always be late to extend it every two years, meant that new installations would fluctuate by more than a thousand turbines from year to year. Maybe they mean some small Swedish producers? Or have they failed to speak about a worldwideboom that put strain on producers?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Aug 9th, 2006 at 06:39:16 AM EST
A part of the article I didn't translate talks about the worldwide boom straining manufacturers. There is also a part about a Swedish company which can't increase production enough to satisfy demand. I think a larger problem might be the lengthy approval process. There was the 8 years to approve the wind park in Lillegrund, an installation with 48 turbines. I don't know if the process would be shorter for smaller installations such as community or cooperative projects with only a few turbines.

I think in the end it is a story about how when a government decide to encourage investment in some "new" technology it takes a while for the manufacturers of that technology to catch up with production increases. The approval process might also be lagging factor that will get better as the involved agencies adjust. Or it might be that the process needs to be improved altogether. It is hard to tell from the information available if it is a problem of implementation of policy, or if the policy itself is flawed.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Aug 9th, 2006 at 07:27:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
8 years vs 1 -- if lengthly approval is so much longer, tghen the excuse of manufacturers 'not catching up' looks like a stupid excuse.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 9th, 2006 at 07:37:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup. It looks like the usual kind of stupidity. The government decides that something has to be encouraged and passes some new laws, usually tax laws, making investment more favourable. Then everyone is surprised that this is not enough, that in fact you have to look at the whole process, building approvals, the manufacturing industry, etc., and decide what else you need to improve,  in order to meet those targets specified on the top level.

I don't really think it is an enormous problem. They'll work it out as problems are identified if the will is there, which I hope it is. And I don't think that it is an enormous failure if the "10 times the power in 10 years" is delayed a year or two, as long as the wind industry is growing nicely during these 10 years and will continue to after as well. These sorts of high level targets can be useful to get an industry moving in the desired direction but it is less useful as a hard goal that must be achieved in the time allotted. The number is quite arbitrary to begin with, probably decided on because "10 times the power in 10 years" is a nice slogan to throw around in the election campaign. (elections coming up on September 17th)

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Aug 9th, 2006 at 08:04:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the goal is 10 times in 10 years? Sweden had about 500 MW at the end of 2005, so 10 times would be 5 GW. Spain or Germany could install that much in two-three years, and even a smaller country like Portugal could produce a boom exceeding 500 MW/year. So I definitely think the goal is not at all unrealistic, and if there are problems they are in local Swedish regulation.

...on the other hand, the thought just appeared to me. Could it be that Sweden needs special cold-resistant turbines? If so, those could well be in short supply.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Aug 9th, 2006 at 09:26:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt it. Unless I'm misinformed, most turbines will be along the south/west coasts, so whatever has been working in Denmark for many years should do fine.

(Although it would be fun to replace the hydroelectric dams up north. Oh and we have the mountains too. Wind powered ski lift anyone?)


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Aug 9th, 2006 at 10:23:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another angle on this: little Denmark, whose wind power investors' structure more resembles Sweden's than Germany's or even Spain's, could install 3 GW before their neoliberal PM deliberately throttled new construction with rule changes and pullout from government-sponsored wind farms. Sweden could do more, if the government would be serious about it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 9th, 2006 at 09:30:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries

Leave UK <dot> DT

by Oui - Dec 4
57 comments

It's Tory Austerity Stupid!

by Oui - Dec 9
22 comments