Sweden to remove building permit for rooftop PV

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The Swedish government has unveiled a proposal to eliminate the obligation to require a building permit for the installation of rooftop PV systems.

This new measure, the government said in a press release, will be implemented through a change in the current building system regulatory framework, and will result in more renewable energy being deployed, as well as lifting the burden for relevant building authorities.

“In the last ten years there has been a rapid increase in solar power and the installed power in the world has increased almost 50 times. In Sweden, however, the share of solar is still very small. By removing the building license for solar panels and solar thermal collectors, we relieve building authorities while also eliminating obstacles to more renewable energy in Sweden,” said the country’s Housing Minister, Peter Eriksson.

Despite the obligation, Sweden has registered an increasing amount of residential and commercial PV over the past two years. Particularly in 2017, the Swedish government enacted a series of measures that further support the sector, such as the elimination of the tax on power generated by commercial PV systems for self-consumption in mid-May.

The Swedish government is also supporting residential and commercial PV through a rebate program. Local energy agency, Energimyndigheten provided SEK 225 million (US$25.6 million) in funds for the program in 2017.

Under the program, homeowners and private or public companies are entitled to receive a rebate that covers part of the cost of installing a PV system. A single PV project is eligible to receive financial support up to a maximum SEK 1.2 million ($136,742). The cost of a project cannot exceed SEK 37,000 ($4,216) per kW installed.

Sweden has reached 140 MW of cumulative installed PV capacity as of the end of December 2016, according to the latest statistics from Energimyndigheten.