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Photovoltaic energy in Sweden

In the EU-directive 2001/77/EG for RES, the indicative target of the electricity consumption in Sweden should increase from 49.1% in 1997 to 60% in 2010. That means 16 TWh of new RES. Although wind power today supplies less than 1% of Sweden’s total electricity production, it has the potential to supply a considerably greater share, making it an area of political priority. In Bill No. 2001/02:143, Cooperation for Reliable, Effective and Environmentally Friendly Electricity Production, the Swedish Parliament has set a national planning target of 10 TWh of electricity from wind power by 2015. Instructed by the Government, the Swedish Energy Agency has proposed a new planning target of 30 TWh of wind power production in 2020. Of this, 20 TWh should be onshore, and 10 TWh offshore. This will necessitate an increase in the number of wind power plants from less than 1000 to 3000–6000.

Swedish RES-E policy is composed of the following mechanisms:

Biomass is a traditional and increasingly important energy source in Sweden. Government policies, especially CO2 taxation on fossil fuels first imposed in 1990, have strongly contributed to this increase. 

According to the Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources the target for the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in the year 2020 for Sweden is 49% (in the year 2005 the share was 39.8%). The Directive has a mandatory 10 % target for transport to be achieved by all Member States, which refers to renewable sources as a whole, not biofuels alone.

Renewable energy projections according to the National Renewable Energy Action Plan for Sweden
The National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) for Sweden was submitted in July 2010. The target according to Annex I of Directive 2009/28/EC is 49% for the year 2020 and the projected NREAP share in that year is 50.2%.  According to the projection, the most important contribution in the year 2020 is expected from biomass (renewable heating and cooling) (9491 ktoe, 48% of all renewable energy). Second important contribution is expected from hydropower (68.0 TWh or 5847 ktoe, 30% of all renewable energy). The third largest contribution is from biomass (renewable electricity) (16.7 TWh or 1435 ktoe, 7% of all renewable energy). Wind power contributes with 4.5 GW (12.5 TWh) in the year 2020 (onshore wind 4.4 GW and 12.0 TWh, offshore wind 0.2 GW and 0.5 TWh). For solar photovoltaic the 2020 contribution is projected to be 8 MW (4 GWh). For solar thermal the 2020 contribution is projected to be 6 ktoe. The two most important biofuels are projected to contribute 251 ktoe (biodiesel) and 465 ktoe (bioethanol / bio-ETBE) by 2020. The renewable electricity production from solid biomass amounts to 16.6 TWh (1430 ktoe) and for biogas it is expected to be 0.1 TWh (5 ktoe). The consumption of renewable heat is expected to amount to 9415 ktoe for solid biomass and 11 ktoe for biogas.

Renewable Electricity: photovoltaic energy (PV)
The market for PV in Sweden is dominated by domestic stand-alone PV systems. The majority of these systems are small and predominantly used to supply electricity to recreational homes where grid connection is unavailable. Apart from the off-grid domestic market, there are some off-grid non-domestic systems, supplying electricity for telecommunication systems, light-houses, etc., and a few grid-connected systems. The grid-connected systems are mostly demonstration projects intended to demonstrate the PV technology in general or to conduct research.

The electricity certificate system was introduced in 2003 and will be valid until the end of 2030. All technologies (wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, hydro, wave energy) used in generation of RES-E are eligible for the quota system. Norway and Sweden have agreed to aim for a joint green electricity certificate market from 1 January 2012. The Renewable Energy with green certificates bill that came into force on 1 January 2007 shifts the quota obligation from electricity users to electricity suppliers. Each electricity certificate correspond to 1 MWh of produced and metered electricity from any RES, or even from peat. A certificate can be sold to provide additional revenue over and above that from the sale of the electricity. 

The current aim of the system is to increase the level of renewable electricity with 17 TWh in 2016 relative to the 2002-level. A new production unit can receive certificates only for a period of 15 years.

Annual average price of a spot electricity certificate in 2007 was 195.40 SEK (21.02 EUR), in 2008 and 2009 (January-September) 247.21 SEK (25.74 EUR) and 289.71 SEK (27.05 EUR), respectively. Trading in electricity certificates can be also carried out in the form of forward contracts. The annual average forward price of electricity certificates in 2008 for delivery of certificate in 2009 was 338.30 SEK (35.22 EUR) and for delivery in 2010 344.91 SEK (35.91 EUR). Accordingly, the average price of electricity certificates in 2009 (January-September) for delivery of certificate in 2010 was 321.29 SEK (30,00 EUR) and for its delivery in 2011 was 323.25 SEK (30.18 EUR). At present solar electricity contributes only a marginal quantity of energy within the certificate system.

Regulation No. 2009:689 on State Subsidies for solar-PV buildings forecasts support for solar energy development. Support is limited to actions commenced on or after 1 July 2009 and completed by 31 December 2011. This regulation is appointed to reach an annual electricity production increase from solar cells with at least 2.5 GWh during the subsidy period. The aid may not exceed 60% of the eligible costs (planning and labor costs, costs of materials) and for large companies, aid may not exceed 55% of the eligible costs.  Generally, the subsidy must not exceed 2 million SEK (0.19 million EUR) per photovoltaic systems or solar electricity and solar thermal hybrid systems.

The Swedish Energy Agency provides funding for PV research, cost-shared technological development, demonstration and business development. The budget for PV is in the range of 2 to 2.5 M€ per year.

Future programme changes expected
No information available.

Interactive EurObserv’ER Database,, version 2007

Swedish Energy Agency: The electricity certificate system: The electricity certificate system 2008

Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC (Entry into force on June 25th, 2009), download from

Renewable energy policy; country profiles (Re-Shaping). Based on information available in October 2009,, 2009

Regulation No. 2009:689 on State Subsidies for Solar Cells:

The National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) are all published on the Transparency Platform on Renewable Energy: (sourced July - December 2010)

Renewable Energy Projections as Published in the National Renewable Energy Action Plans of the European Member States, (sourced December 2010)

Interactive EurObserv’ER Database
Last update: December 2010

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