Offshore wind in Sweden - grid connection costs
Swedish Windenergy Association and Swedish Windpower Association have been given the opportunity to submit comments on the Ministry of Infrastructure's memorandum 2021-02-02 "Reduced connection costs for electricity production offshore".
Our overall views:
We welcome the Government's proposal and assess that it is well in line with Svenska kraftnät's (SVK) existing assignments. The proposal gives SVK the conditions to actively plan for the ongoing restructuring of the power system.
The proposal can be of great importance for the possibility of eliminating the lack of power and capacity that currently exists in parts of Sweden. It can also contribute to the conditions for new electricity production at sea becoming more equal to the conditions for onshore electricity production.
We welcome the fact that the proposal is not designed as a subsidy, but as an integral part of SVK's mission to build and manage the transmission network between the areas where electricity production takes place and the areas where demand exists. It will be a natural continuation of how the main network was previously expanded.
It is positive that the government has chosen the technology-neutral wording "offshore electricity production" in the proposal. This makes it possible to include investments in several different power sources as well as technology for energy storage and distribution.
We propose an addition to SVK's instruction that transmission networks should also be able to be expanded within the economic zone in cases where it is socio-economically justified. This would increase flexibility for both SVK and market participants.
Some challenges that need to be addressed when implementing the proposal:
In recent years, developers have invested heavily in projects for offshore electricity production in Swedish waters. In order to safeguard long-term rules of the game, SVK should take into account the investments already made in its planning.
It needs to be clarified how SVK should take into account projects in different development phases in relation to the geographical location of networks and connection points, what level of expansion that SVK should strive for and within what time horizon.
Suggestions for further measures:
In order for the updated instructions to have the desired effect, we believe that the government should quickly decide on a time frame for SVK's planning, and ensure sufficient resources for SVK so that existing and new plans can be implemented. We also recommend that the proposal be supplemented with a national planning goal for electricity production, to ensure that society can cope with climate change through electrification.