Sweden’s electricity generation primarily consists of hydropower and nuclear power. In 2015 hydropower accounted for 46.7% of total Swedish electricity generation, while nuclear power accounted for 34.3%. Wind power is the fastest growing type of generation, now in third place. In 2015, Swedish wind power generated 16 TWh, representing 10.5% of the electricity generated. For purposes of comparison, the first year that Swedish wind power produced 1 TWh was 2006. Actual generation is affected by when installations take place during the year and the amount of wind during the year. Full production is equivalent to the power output for the full year generated by the installed wind power at the end of a normal year.
Sweden as a country has favorable conditions for wind power establishment. It is relatively sparsely populated with excellent wind resources, advanced infrastructure in terms of both the power grid and roads, a working permit process and macroeconomic stability.
Despite rapid growth, there is still great potential to continue expanding wind power in Sweden. A study by the Royal Institute of Technology shows that because a major portion of electricity generation in Sweden already comes from hydropower, this makes Sweden particularly suitable for large-scale wind power expansion, since hydropower is complementary to wind power as a regulating power. The study also shows that wind and solar power together have the potential to generate about 60 TWh, which is equivalent to about 40% of total electricity generation. In addition, a report by Elforsk demonstrated that onshore wind power is one of the cheapest methods of adding new electricity generation in Sweden.
Capacity of over 1,050 MW was installed in 2014, making Sweden the third largest installer of wind power in Europe that year, after Germany and the UK. At the end of 2014, the total installed capacity in Sweden was 5,425 MW.
The pace of construction slowed in 2015, mainly due to low energy prices, but profitable projects can still be realized for end-investors. However only the best projects in terms of overall economic efficiency can be realized with today’s electricity prices.
Sweden and Norway have a shared technology-neutral support system to stimulate the expansion of renewable electricity generation, known as electricity certificates. More information on electricity certificates and how this system works can be found here.