Sweden’s operational PV capacity tops 231 MW

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Sweden has reached 231 MW of cumulative installed PV capacity as of the end of December 2017, according to provisional statistics from Swedish energy agency, Energimyndigheten.

According to the figures, new additions for last year totaled 91 MW, which makes 2017 the year with the largest growth ever recorded in the Swedish solar market.

Compared to 2016, when new registered PV capacity was only 13 MW, last year’s performance represents a remarkable improvement. In 2015 and 2014, meanwhile, the country saw the addition of around 37.6 MW and 36.2 MW, respectively.

The statistics for 2016, however, were originally provided in April of last year and were then revised in October. In the revised figures, Energimyndigheten said that newly installed capacity for 2016 had been 79.2 MW, and that cumulative installed solar power at the end of that year was already 205 MW. This means that last year’s numbers may also be revised upwards in the course of this year.

Although it remains unclear how the new capacity installed over the past two years is distributed for each year, it is clear that Sweden is currently the most dynamic solar market in Scandinavia, taking into account that Norway added 18 MW last year, and that Denmark has suffered a strong contraction, due to the gradual phasing out of its incentive scheme for renewable energies.

The strong growth registered over the past two years was also the consequence of several actions taken by the Swedish government to revive a market, which had been paralyzed by the introduction of a solar tax on commercial PV. In addition to reducing the tax by 98%, the Swedish government has also allocated additional funds for solar rebates.

As for the latest statistics, Energimyndigheten reports that of the cumulative capacity, 45% is represented by PV systems up to 20 kW (104 MW), while installations ranging in size from 20 kW to 1 MW (119 MW) account for 52% of the installed power. PV plants exceeding 1 MW only cover 3% of capacity with 8 MW. Around 40% of this power is located in the provinces of Västra Götaland, Stockholm and Skåne.