Sweden, the leader in the share of renewable energy use in the European Union (EU), targets to eliminate subsidies for onshore wind farms by the end of 2021, at around the same time as neighboring Norway, Sweden’s Energy Minister Anders Ygeman told Reuters on Wednesday.
Onshore wind developments are already profitable without subsidies, the minister said on the sidelines of a wind power conference in Stockholm.
Declining technology costs and battery prices across the board have made unsubsidized onshore wind and solar power the cheapest options for electricity generation in major economies, including India’s and China’s. Solar and wind power are now cheaper than coal in most parts of the world.
Sweden generates more than 54 percent of its electricity from renewable sources on a sustainable basis. As early as in 2012, the Scandinavian country reached its 2020 target to have 50 percent of energy use from renewables. The country is targeting 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2040.
Hydropower and bioenergy are the top sources of renewable energy in Sweden, but wind generation has soared over the past decade and a half. Between 2000 and 2017, Sweden’s wind power generation increased from 0.5 terrawatt hours (TWh) to 17.5 TWh.
As many large wind projects come online, Sweden is expected to see wind power generation doubling its share in the country’s electricity generation from 12 percent now to 25 percent in 2022, Charlotte Unger, chief executive of the Swedish Wind Energy Association, said earlier this year.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Sweden is a global leader in the energy transition as it is building a low-carbon economy with the lowest share of fossil fuels in its primary energy supply among all IEA member countries.
“Sweden has been successful in its energy transformation through market-based policies that focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy, notably CO2 taxation, which has helped drive decarbonisation across several sectors,” the IEA said in April this year.