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POWER

Many still without power after storm Dagmar

During the first day of 2012 there were still some 1,000 households in Sweden left with no power as a result of the storm Dagmar, which pummeled Sweden over Christmas.

Many still without power after storm Dagmar
The storm, dubbed 'Dagmar', pummeled Sweden over Christmas.

Many customers of Fortum power company, in central Sweden, were affected the worst, where more than 3,000 households are still without a functioning phone line.

Many were forced to welcome the new year by candlelight and by the night sky, illuminated by fireworks.

Inga and Hans Gilljam in Varberg, in south Sweden, were among those who finally got their power back, but by then it was too late to save their TV, freezer and refrigerator.

“The fridge and freezer don’t work, the TV, a record player and a clock radio are ruined,” Inga Gilljam told news agency TT.

“We sort of evacuated the food we had in the freezer to our friends and acquaintances on the second day [without power], the fridge we’ll just have to do without. It’s complicated but it works.”

On the afternoon of New Year’s Day, 250 of power giant Eon’s subscribers in the storm affected areas were still without power, while Fortum had about 450 subscribers without power.

However, Fortum has promised to have power back at the very latest by Monday.

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ELECTRICITY

Sweden to double wind energy production in next four years

Wind energy is set to double its share of Sweden's power supply over the next four years as a string of giant projects come online.

Sweden to double wind energy production in next four years
The Gabrielsberget wind project in Västerbotten. Photo: Swewind
The contribution of wind energy is scheduled to grow from 17TWh in 2018 to 35 TWh in 2022, taking wind's share from 12 percent to 25 percent of total power produced. 
 
Charlotte Unger, chief executive of the Swedish Wind Energy Association trade body said the pro-renewable policy decisions had been driving growth. 
 
“Sweden has the best regulatory regime for wind power projects from a European perspective, and therefore production costs the least here,” she told Swedish state broadcaster SVT.  “Investors have confidence in wind power in Sweden, and that's because of the policies that exist.” 
 
The largest new wind farm is the giant Markbyygden project outside Piteå, which is expected to supply 10TWh per year as it comes online in stages from this year, making it one of Europe's largest wind farms.  
 
Other major projects are the Överturingen wind farm in Västernorrland, Åskälen in Jämtland, and Valhalla in Gävleborg. 
 
The new farms will make up for the shutdown of two reactors at the Ringhals nuclear power station in 2019 and 2020. 
 
 
Because the majority of the new wind power projects are in the northern counties of Norrland, Västerbotten and Jämtland, the shift will require Sweden's state-owned grid operator Svenska Kraftnät to rapidly improve capacity, especially in central Sweden. 
 
But Niclas Damsgaard, the grid company's senior market strategist, said he believed the company would be able to keep pace with the growth. 
 
“It's going to work, but all this will mean an increase in risk. In an extreme case, some major industrial consumers may not be able to buy as much power as they want, but it's not going to mean difficulties across the country.”  
 
Unger said that if the new production exceeded Sweden's own needs, then the excess could be exported into Europe, reducing the continent's coal use. 
 
Between 2022 and 2040, the Swedish Wind Energy Association hopes to double the amount of wind power produced in  once again, taking it to half of Sweden's total power use.
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