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Sweden to waive grid fees to kick-start offshore wind: MP

Scheme to end the charges could be in place by early 2020, Centre Party’s Rickard Nordin predicts.

Sweden’s new government this spring is likely to unveil plans for waiving grid connection fees for offshore wind farms in a move that could kick-start development off the country’s coasts, a Swedish lawmaker told Recharge.

Rickard Nordin, the energy and climate policy spokesman for the Centre Party in the Swedish parliament, told Recharge: “I would say we have a decision before the summer, and hopefully a scheme in place from the first of January 2020.

“The [Swedish] energy agency made two proposals, which we took to the [European] Commission to see if they are in line with state aid rules.”

Developers in recent years have shied away from building new projects due to a lack of a support system. Power prices in the NordPool wholesale market have also been too low to make development viable.

Recently, rising wholesale prices, together with the expected waiver of grid fees and rising demand are likely to prompt them to revive their Swedish plans for wind at sea.

Sweden currently has only 212MW of operating offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea, but close to 3GW are already permitted or in the permitting process.

Although Nordin’s Centre Party is not officially part of the recently-inaugurated government of Social Democratic Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, its tactical abstention in a vote in mid-January (together with that of another party from Sweden’s centre-right block of parties) was decisive in getting Löfven re-elected.

The Centre Party has also indicated it will support the government in its plan to boost renewable energy expansion, and in 2016 signed a cross-party long-term energy agreement together with Löfven’s Social Democrats, the (also governing) Green Party, the opposition Moderates and Christian Democrats.

In the agreement, the five parties had vowed to make Sweden free of net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, reach a power generation 100% based on renewables by 2040, end subsidies for nuclear power, and waive grid connection fees for offshore wind power.

Officials at Sweden’s energy ministry contacted by Recharge did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Nordin said he is now waiting for an invitation from the new energy minister, Anders Ygeman, to discuss how to end offshore grid fees.

Article in Rechargenews.