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Wind power investment surges

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12:01 CET+01:00
High global oil prices and EU carbon dioxide emissions regulations are leading to high electricity prices and a surge in investment in wind power in Sweden.

In the next few years 35-40 billion kronor will be spent on wind power stations, with energy giants Eon and Vattenfall the main players.

"Wind power is coming into a completely new phase. Technical progress means that much bigger and more efficient wind power stations can be built now," said Bo Källstrand, the managing director of the organisation Swedish Energy, which represents the country's power companies.

"There are big plans for wind power now but the problem is getting licences. To build them on dry land, which is cheaper, isn't so easy because there is almost always objection from the locals. At sea it is more expensive, but even there it is hard to get past all the authorities - so there are several projects which have been stopped, despite the interest," he said.

Matthias Rapp, managing director of the wind industry association VIP, reckons that the main reason the energy source is becoming more popular at the moment is Sweden's system of offering a discount for "green" electricity.

"The electricity certificate is absolutely the most important thing, but the emissions regulations have also increased the price of electricity and that helps wind power," he said.

Rapp said that the development of a number of new power stations will soon be underway and should be completed within five years.

The biggest investment is in Eon's Södra Midsjöbanken, south of the island of Gotland, with 200 giant turbines totalling 1,000 megawatts and producing 3-4 terawatt-hours. The cost is still secret but Rapp said it could be in the region of 15-20 billion kronor.

At Kriegers Flak, 30 kilometres south of Trelleborg, Vattenfall is building a 640 megawatt plant which can produce 2 terawatt-hours. The cost is 11-12 billion kronor.

"That is the biggest project which really come a long way," said Rapp.

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TT/The Local

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