Swedish government backs wind power
Published: 22 Mar 2006 12:16 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Mar 2006 12:16 GMT+01:00
The Swedish government wants to reduce the tax on wind power and is planning to set aside 350 million kronor in support for pilot projects within the industry. The focus of the investment will be land-based projects.
Minister for Sustainable Development Mona Sahlin presented the proposal to parliament on Wednesday. The proposition is a continuation of the 1997 energy agreement between the government, the Centre Party and the Left Party. It has also been supported by the Greens.
The investment will contribute to creating long term conditions for a major development of the wind industry, both in large and small project, on land and offshore.
Environmental authorities and local councils will raise the priority of wind power, under the new proposal. Laws and regulations will be changed to make it easier to give necessary support for the building of wind power stations.
Part of the proposal is that the tax on wind power should be reduced from 0.5% to 0.2%.
The government also wants to create a national centre for wind power.
"Wind power has enormous potential, and the Swedish wind power industry is at the starting line," wrote Mona Sahlin in a commentary on the proposal.
"With the first ever wind power proposition I hope to get the development of wind power up to speed."
The Centre Party's negotiator Eskil Erlandsson reckons that there is nothing untoward about his party sticking with the Social Democrats and the Left Party on the 1997 agreement.
"What we're doing now is just an extension of that," he said.
"Our belief is that an overarching agreement is required in the area of energy. Since it's major investment, we need game rules which we stick to in the long run."
The Liberal Party, however, said that the government and the Centre Party's energy policies are naive.
"The idea that wind power will be able to replace nuclear power is naive. It's time that Sweden woke up from its slumber when it comes to energy policies," wrote the party's vice chairman Jan Björklund and energy spokesperson Eva Flyborg.