Swedish government forced to redo power subsidy plan for businesses

TT/The Local
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Swedish government forced to redo power subsidy plan for businesses
Sweden's business and energy minister Ebba Busch holds a press conference announcing the failure of the government's first proposal to reimburse businesses. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden's government has scrapped its ill-fated proposal to reimburse companies for last year's sky-high power prices because it broke EU rules, forcing it to order the grid authority to draw up an alternative.


At a press conference on Thursday, Sweden's business and energy minister Ebba Busch said that the a proposal from the country's grid operator Svenska kraftnät to use so-called 'bottle neck charges' to fund compensation to businesses had been rejected by the regulator. 

"I understand that this is difficult message to stomach," Busch said at a press conference. "Sweden cannot move forward with the support which Svenska kraftnät proposed."


She declined to give any indication of when the payments – which all of the three parties in Sweden's government had promised in the election would be in place in November – would finally arrive. 

"The government is not responsible for the timing of the process through which the the Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate makes its decision. As a result it's hard to put a time on it," she said. 

In the press conference Busch said it was up to the employees at Svenska Kraftnät to work throughout the festive period to draw up a new proposal which the inspectorate was willing to accept. 

"You need to work over Christmas, over the New Year. By January 4th, a new application must have been delivered to the Energy Markets Inspectorate," she said. 

Once the inspectorate gives its approval, the government can push forward with a directive to Svenska Kraftnät to arrange the payments. 

The government's current plans involve two separate payments, one which will go to all businesses and a second targeted at energy intensive businesses. 

The government has sent in an application for state support to the EU for the second scheme, but it is uncertain when the EU will decide on its legality. 

Niels Paarup Petersen, an MP representing Skåne with the Centre Party, accused Busch of "totally failing to deliver" on her promises. 

"So here comes the bloody reality!" he wrote on Twitter. "From high-cost protection by November 1st, to electricity subsidy without high-cost protection before Christmas, to something, sometime, maybe. Ebba Busch has totally failed to deliver." 


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