Autumn storms buffeted wind power generation

Sweden remained a net exporter of energy in 2013, thanks in part to a growing wind-power sector that received a boost in the form of blustery autumn winds, summarized industry lobbyists Svensk Energi in their yearly tally.

Autumn storms buffeted wind power generation
Wind turbines in southern Sweden in 1987. File photo: SludgeGulper/Flickr

"It's positive that our strong power balance continues and that electricity continues to be an important export," said Svensk Energi head Kjell Jansson. "(We have) strong hydro power, despite a production decrease, nuclear power is improving, and we have continued development of wind power." 

Sweden produced a total of 149 terrawatt hours (TWH)  in 2013 and remained a net exporter of electricity.

The unseasonal winter weather, with huge swathes of Sweden left bereft of snow over Christmas, benefited both wind and hydropower.

"The lack of winter weather in November and December – with influx (to the dams) continually high – strengthened the water levels," the summary noted, adding that by the conclusion of 2013, the dams should be 66 percent full with similar levels across the Nordic countries. 

Mild temperatures dampened ordinary mid-winter electricity demand, helping to keep electricity prices low and also keeping large regional price differences at arm's length. 

"Electricity customers can take pleasure from stable – and decently low – prices," the organization noted.

Hydropower generated 60.9 TWH, while nuclear power accounted for 63.7 TWH in 2013. While wind turbines still only account for 9.8 TWH, the figure represents an upswing in production of more than a third.

The strong winds in the past few months buffeted the country's wind turbine fleet, which produced 36 percent more energy in 2013 compared to the year prior.

"The recent autumn storms contributed to several production records in wind power," Svensk Energi noted. 

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