Eolus has a presence on many different geographic markets. Whether in onshore or offshore wind power, solar projects or energy storage, there is one thing in common – the transition to renewable energy.
Today, Eolus operates in Sweden, Norway, the US, Poland, Finland, Latvia and Estonia. We entered the Polish market as recently as 2021. The largest project portfolio is in Sweden, followed by the US.
As we at Eolus develop projects and complete facilities in countries other than Sweden, the country that has dominated to date, the operations will become less dependent on individual geographic markets. Projects outside Sweden are generally in earlier phases of development compared with the Swedish portfolio, which is understandable because Sweden is Eolus’s original market. The markets differ in terms of how much renewable power has been deployed, and what is currently under construction. The countries have varying conditions in terms of geography, infrastructure, grid capacity and support systems for renewable electricity generation.
Wind power development has been very strong in Sweden and this source of energy is an established and important part of the Swedish energy mix. Wind power capacity surpassed annual generation of 1 TWh for the first time in 2006. In 2021, the comparative figure was 27.4 TWh, representing about 16% of Swedish generation. Within a few years, wind power is projected to exceed annual nuclear power generation and become the second-largest source of electricity generation in the country. According to Swedish Wind Energy’s statistics for the fourth quarter of 2021, installed capacity in Sweden was 12,200 MW, with normal annual generation of 33.1 TWh, at the end of 2021.
Strong growth for onshore wind deployment
Sweden has good conditions for wind power and, in 2021, was the country that added most onshore wind capacity in Europe. Despite this strong growth, there is still major potential. Some of the factors behind Sweden’s favorable conditions for a high share of wind power generation are good access to a regulated power supply, good wind resources, grid stability and a relatively low population density. Due to good transmission capacity to other countries, Sweden has become a net exporter of electricity, which is displacing generation from fossil fuels in other countries. At the same time, it is also possible to import electricity should it be needed.
Offshore wind capacity needs to increase
Despite the fact that Sweden is one of the countries in Europe with the lowest onshore wind costs, and subsequently accounts for the fifth-highest installed wind power capacity in Europe, there is very little offshore wind deployment. Sweden lags behind Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK in this area. Offshore wind power capacity has a key role to play, not least when it comes to narrowing the gap between consumption and generation in western Sweden and Skåne/Blekinge.
Better storage enables more wind and solar
Solar has accounted for a limited share of Swedish electricity generation to date – approximately 1.1 TWh in 2021. However, there is potential for a considerably higher share from both domestic solar PV systems and utility-scale facilities. The pairing of wind and solar is an advantageous complement due to their varying strengths throughout the day and year. Better storage solutions will enable solar and wind to account for a larger share of Swedish electricity generation moving forward.
The growth of new power generation has accelerated in Norway in recent years. According to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), this is the highest growth rate since the end of the 1970s. Onshore wind capacity has steadily increased and, in 2021, accounted for almost 7.5% of Norwegian electricity generation, which is otherwise mainly hydropower. In 2021, approximately 11.8 TWh was generated by wind power, a year-onyear increase of nearly 20%. At the end of 2021, Norway had approximately 4,650 MW of installed wind power capacity, compared with total installed capacity of 1,675 MW at the end of 2018.
Expected wind deployment growth
The regulatory framework for wind power deployment is currently being revised, which has temporarily suspended the granting of new concessions and placed developers in a wait-and-watch mode. The new government that took office in autumn 2021 intends to expand wind power generation, including offshore, which means continued market potential.
Best conditions for wind and potential for solar
Onshore wind power projects in the Norwegian market are often characterized by complex terrain and infrastructure combined with high mean wind speeds. This leads to high generation rates and contributes to lower costs per unit of MWh generated. The conditions for wind power are among the best in Europe. While electricity generation from solar is low, Norway has much the same potential as Sweden.
The US energy market is fragmented and should be seen as several different markets because of geography and the regulatory diversity in regard to permitting, grid connection, electricity trading and renewable energy targets.
Carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035
Renewable energy sources, such as solar and onshore/offshore wind, are playing a key role in the current US administration’s goal to reach 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035. Different types of storage solutions are also important for reaching this goal and contributing to system stability.
Excellent conditions for solar and record levels for wind
The U.S. Energy and Information Administration (EIA) expects that approximately 46.1 GW of new utility-scale electric generating capacity will be added to the US power grid in 2022. Almost half of the planned capacity additions (22.1 GW) are solar. Most planned solar additions will be in Texas (6.1 GW) followed by California (4.0 GW). California is the state with the most installed solar capacity, and has also set ambitious goals for renewable electricity generation. In 2021, 15.1 GW of utility-scale solar capacity was added to the US grid, so the growth rate is high. Wind increased in 2021 and exceeded the record by adding another 17.1 GW of installed capacity. In 2022, wind is projected to account for 17% of capacity additions despite a drop to 7.6 GW in planned additions. Like solar, most wind capacity additions are in Texas.
Energy storage project growth
Battery storage has now entered a strong phase of growth driven by falling costs, deployment of battery storage together with renewable generation, and by adding value in regional grids. In 2022, the EIA expects utility-scale battery storage capacity to grow by 5.1 GW. In 2021, Eolus divested its first battery storage project in the US. The Cald project in Los Angeles in the US has capacity of 120 MW and Eolus will provide the customer with project development services. Utility-scale battery storage systems have major potential in the US market as solar and wind generation account for a growing share of the energy mix. Standalone energy storage systems also have a key role to play in approaches to balancing and reliability improvements.
Objectives for offshore wind power
As in other markets, offshore wind power has huge potential in the US, mainly on the East Coast. The goal of the current administration is to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. There are only two offshore facilities in operation at present. At the end of February 2021, a federal auction for six offshore projects outside New York and New Jersey netted a combined bid of USD 4.37 billion. Eolus’s project portfolio in the US includes projects in solar, onshore wind and energy storage and is currently focused on the western US region.
Eolus entered the Polish market in 2021. As one of the largest economies in Europe, this is a market with huge development potential and a major need to transform the energy system, which is heavily dependent on coal power. Poland is one of the most fossildependent countries in Europe, but has also committed to reducing its CO2₂ emissions in line with international climate initiatives.
Strong market for solar power
The Polish market for renewables has primarily been dominated by solar power growth in recent years. Poland has been one of the leading countries in Europe in terms of new solar power capacity over the past few years. In both 2020 and 2021, Poland accounted for the fourth-highest solar capacity growth in Europe. Approximately 3,200 MW was added in 2021, bringing total installed capacity to over 7,100 MW. In recent years, small-scale domestic solar PV systems have grown popular due to investment incentives. These conditions have now deteriorated, however, and SolarPower Europe, among others, expects to see strong growth in utility-scale installed solar capacity. One driver of solar capacity growth, in addition to the need for new generation capacity, is that permitting processes are faster than for wind power, where conditions are much stricter, which is helping to accelerate new electricity generation.
Planned solar 2022–2025
In its medium scenario, SolarPower Europe predicts that Poland will add nearly 10,000 MW of installed solar capacity between 2022 and 2025. With annual growth of 24%, Poland is expected to reach nearly 17,000 MW of installed solar capacity by 2025.
Potential for more wind deployment
In 2021, 660 MW of wind capacity was added, bringing total installed capacity to 6,347 MW. This makes Poland the tenth-largest installer of wind power in Europe. Poland has no offshore wind capacity at present. However, there is potential for establishments in the Baltic Sea. As for many other countries, offshore wind power has a key role to play in Poland’s transition, and this technology will become increasingly attractive as costs decline.
The Finnish wind power market has grown substantially in recent years. According to statistics from the Finnish Wind Power Association, 671 MW of installed capacity was added in 2021, compared with approximately 240 MW in 2019, and 300 MW in 2020. Wind power, with capacity of close to 8.1 TWh in 2021, accounted for nearly 12% of Finnish electricity generation. The trend of installing the largest turbines in Europe continued in 2021. As in Sweden and Norway, entering into long-term PPAs is a common component of business arrangements for wind-power investments. Finland’s cumulative installed wind capacity totaled 3,257 MW. The market’s strong interest in Finnish wind power is fueling continued growth.
There is some potential for utility-scale solar power in Finland but a country like Sweden is considered to have better conditions for growth, why the outlook for growth in Finland is weaker than for other countries, including Sweden.
Wind power has ground to a halt in these markets in recent years. In Estonia, the Armed Forces’ restrictions on altitude due to radar interference has made wind power deployment difficult and caused project developers to lose interest. The Estonian government has decided to upgrade its radar systems to enable new wind power projects, which may offer new opportunities. The government has also indicated an interest in offshore wind deployment. In Latvia, very little wind power capacity has been installed. However, there are excellent wind resources in both the western and central regions of the country, offering high potential for wind power. As in Estonia, there is also an ambition to increase offshore wind deployment. Eolus is actively developing onshore wind projects in Latvia, and the company sees good prospects for also being involved in the development of offshore wind in the country.
According to WindEurope’s statistics, Estonia has 320 MW of installed capacity, and Latvia has 66 MW.
Small market with high solar capacity
Estonia has a relatively high share of installed solar capacity in relation to its population, the seventh-highest per capita of European countries. However, the market is relatively small, which means that the total installed capacity is low. In Latvia, installed solar capacity is low both in total and on a per capita basis.