Small solar parks appear in Sweden

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Sweden may never take on the dimensions of a GW-scale market, but its current solar development can be described as sustained and steady. This year, solar’s performance in the Scandinavian nation may surpass that of 2018, which was the country’s best year ever, with around 180 MW of new PV installations added.

The Swedish government this year reduced its budget for the solar rebate scheme to $80 million, and also reduced its solar investment support from a disproportionate 30% to 20%. However, the reductions in support are largely in line with the falling prices of solar modules. The country also implemented several measures between 2017 and 2018 to facilitate solar development, including the cancellation of the solar tax for commercial PV and the removal of building permit requirements for rooftop solar installations.

Swedish businesses are demonstrating an increased appetite for cheaper and cleaner energy, resulting in the first small utility-scale solar arrays being developed. Last year, 8 MW of ground-mounted plants were connected to the grid. Furthermore, utility Göteborg Energi commissioned the country’s largest solar plant, a 5.5 MW project near Gothenburg. Similar projects are being developed by local municipality-owned utilities in places such as Kalmar, Luleå, Falu, Trollhättan and Lidköping.

The potential of this segment in the Nordics is still unclear, but signals from neighboring Denmark seems to suggest that we are just at the beginning of a new phase. It is worth noting that the Nordic countries already have significant experience with private PPAs from the wind sector, and this will also be valuable for developers and investors in the solar sector.