The best option for Sweden to mitigate a power crunch in the second half of this decade is to speed up approvals for offshore wind parks, said an executive with Orsted A/S, the world’s biggest developer of those sites.
(Bloomberg) — The best option for Sweden to mitigate a power crunch in the second half of this decade is to speed up approvals for offshore wind parks, said an executive with Orsted A/S, the world’s biggest developer of those sites.
The largest Nordic economy faces a shortage as demand rises with the electrification of everything from transportation to heavy industry. In a nation with little solar power, offshore wind may be the best option to fill that gap relatively quickly, said Sebastian Hald Buhl, Orsted’s Sweden and Norway chief.
The Danish company has offshore parks from the US to Taiwan. In Sweden, its most-advanced project is the 1,500-megawatt Skane Havsvindpark in the Baltic Sea, but that’s still waiting for government approval. In the seven years it’s taken the project to get this far, a new park likely would be online already in Taiwan, Hald Buhl said in an interview in Stockholm.
“We know it is on the government’s table now, but we are unclear about the timeline for making a decision,” he said. “Sweden needs a lot of power, and Skane, the most southern region, needs it the most.”
The country’s generation is dominated by nuclear, hydropower and onshore wind. Grid operator Svenska Kraftnat warned this summer that a severe power shortage may start mid-decade.
The government recognizes that it takes too long for approvals for offshore wind projects. In May, it commissioned an inquiry into how the process can be made more efficient. The findings are due by end of June next year.
“We can see that permitting is speeding up, and the government has a keen focus on this,” Hald Buhl said.
Despite its long and windy coastlines, Sweden only has one offshore wind park, and that was built in 2007. Two projects owned by Vattenfall AB and OX2 AB off the west coast received permits in May.
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