Sweden increases budget for solar incentives by $48m

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The Swedish government has decided to increase this year’s budget for its residential and commercial solar rebate program, from SEK736 million ($76.6 million) to SEK1.2 billion.

The announcement was made by the Swedish Center Party which, along with the Liberals, is backing the minority government formed by the Social Democrats and Greens in the Swedish parliament. The leader of the Center Party, Annie Lööf, said the rebate scheme will remain in place next year with a budget of around SEK835 million.

This year’s budget had already been increased in April, from SEK436 million to SEK736 million.

The latest SEK464 million of new incentives is likely to make this year Sweden’s best ever in terms of new PV, following the deployment of a record 180 MW of residential and commercial solar capacity last year.

Bigger than ever

The beefed-up 2019 budget is now more generous than the SEK915 million the government eventually ramped it up to in 2018 and the price of solar modules is continuing to fall.

“Sweden has been the fastest growing market in the Nordics for a while thanks to this subsidy,” said Andreas Thorsheim, founder of Norwegian solar energy platform Otovo. “It looks like that growth will continue and that the government will unwind the subsidy in an orderly manner from 2021. While the current subsidy has been good for building initial interest in PV in Sweden, we are looking forward to a more stable and predictable funding situation when the green tax deduction comes, in 2021.

“In the long run a tax deduction – even at lower levels – is better because it won’t need continuous fill-ups in the government’s budget,” Thorsheim told pv magazine.

The solar rebate program is open to homeowners, businesses and public bodies. Swedish Energy Agency the Energimyndigheten has thus far devoted SEK3.2 billion to the ten-year initiative.